Last weekend my friend and I went to an independent coffee shop we like that’s located near the University of St. Thomas campus in Houston’s active Montrose neighborhood. While talking, I glanced over and noticed a young couple seated at an adjacent couch. Both of them were so engrossed in their respective smartphones that they didn’t speak to each other. The whole time they kept typing away as if the world around them didn’t exist. Subsequently, their behavior got me thinking about how technology has the potential to obstruct human interaction and communication. Now, I’m not a Luddite; I own a smartphone myself. That said, most of the time it can be found in my messenger bag or on the kitchen counter at home (note: I haven’t looked at it in over three hours). Why do people focus on the glow of a tiny screen and disconnect from others in their immediate presence? In high school and college, my friends and I spent countless nights hanging out in dive restaurants discussing music, school, politics, and relationships over a cheap cup of coffee. Those deep, in-person conversations will always be an important part of my intellectual and emotional development. Today, some folks are constantly on their phones, often ignoring their company. From what I’ve seen, this technological advancement is distracting people from special moments that merit their full attention.
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