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Time to text, time to call, and time to shut up

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Editor Courtney Drake is a junior Journalism major.

No matter where I go, I always see people listening to iPods, talking and texting on their cell phones, entranced by their laptops or wired in some other way to the latest technology. At the mall, on the way to and from class, in their cars, even when taking walks in nature, it seems people have an addiction to today’s innovations.

In check out lines, people remain involved in conversation, not even breaking away long enough to say “thank you” to the cashier. And you can pretty much forget about interrupting that person with their ear buds in. Unless that person is actively engaged in the scene around him, a conversation is highly unlikely.

It seems like the more technology advances, the worse people’s manners are. Just the other day, I saw someone I knew from a class in the elevator. I said hello, but the person never replied, barely looking at me because she was so consumed by the music being delivered. Even at the library, no one pays attention to the signs that prohibit cell phone usage. I’ve also had several close encounters with people who were texting and didn’t bother to look up to see where they were going.

I’m not saying that these surges of technology are all wrong. I think it’s amazing that science has found a way for us all to be connected when we’re thousands of miles apart, or five minutes in some cases. But, then again, I feel like we’re losing that personal connection with people. We may be talking and communicating more often than ever before, but it’s through mediums that are not based on face-to-face conversation. Even in the office, people rely on e-mail and phone conferencing when their offices are only down the hall. From my experience, it is only when confidential information must be discussed when workers actually meet.

I can’t help but ask myself what happened to the time when people would look forward to meeting face-to-face or when they left their rooms and actively listened to what was going on around them? There’s so much to take in, and I feel like most of us miss out on that experience with technology attached at the hip.

There are people to make relationships with – relationships that go well beyond texting and phone conversations. Just standing outside and hearing nature can be refreshing when you’re stressed about that pile of work sitting on your desk. I’m not saying cut technology completely out of your life, but just realize there’s a life beyond cell phones and iPods. You might even be able to hear yourself think.

February 28, 2008

News
•Adjuncts increase faculty numbers
•Belmont displays flag, but student says it could be more visible
•Conference preps music industry hopefuls
•Fall break clears campus for debate
•Journalists, debaters win
•Online contests draw BU talent
•‘Think pink’ brings awareness of breast cancer

Features
•Ring show promise to remain chaste

Opinion
•Can’t hear the teacher with beans in your ears
•Gen Y, it’s time to step up
•Is Belmont’s text message alert a flawed system?
•Ron Paul supporter takes issue with ‘Vision’ political story
•Toward pedagogical progress: in support of Mark McEntire
•The view from here: Iraq 2003-2008
•Time to text, time to call, and time to shut up

A&E
•Dance show explores body, soul
•Pearl Jam, Metallica on tap for Bonnaroo
•Pop profundity
•Three volumes to add to ‘must-read’ list
•Waggoner tour comes to Nashville

Sports
•Bruins guard Rockwell has strong bonds with adoptive family, Belmont friends
•‘Mean Bruiser’ one big, bad, blue bear