Can we auto-correct humanity?

Dylan Mccabe, Staff Writer

Two years ago, I took a trip to New York City. Before I got on the subway I looked up and counted 29 passengers in my car. Every single person was on their phone. I saw blank expressions. People were glued to their “social” networks, ironically making them antisocial instead. With an overwhelming societal dependence on cell phones, one must pose the question: are long friend lists worth being friendless?

A Microsoft report in 2015 found that since the digital revolution of 2000 the average human attention span has dropped from twelve seconds to eight seconds. It may not seem significant, but the average attention span of a goldfish is nine seconds.

We continue to advance our electronic technology but forget to advance ourselves as human beings. Our sense of community, communication and compassion have diminished, and in their place, are a series of emojis meant to now encompass all facets of human emotion. The youth of today, rather than informing themselves with a platform and opportunities none have had before, have decided to waste most of their time and dull their mind with meaningless games and apps. Phone usage is up today to a staggering average of 2 hours and 51 minutes. Essentially, our lives now revolve around a parasitic device that latches onto its host and poisons the mind to the extent where is becomes almost irreparable.

Although there is insurmountable evidence to make the claim that excessive phone and social media usage is damaging to the world, a relevant and genuine argument exists for the opposition. Cellular phones and social media has connected the world in ways we never thought possible. It has given a voice and a platform to those who were previously unable to speak.

Much of this remains a valid truth, yet a lingering sense of too much self-reliance on phones remains. Rather than actively participating in your community for change, it is now simply the click of a button that appears on your feed but often has no value. Protesting social injustice is now nothing more than just a hashtag and a prayer. Social media is hindering the human sense of drive and meaningful activism.

As a society that continues to progress, it is urgent that we come to an understanding of the implications of excessive phone and social media usage. Occasionally, put your phone down, look out the window or even let your mind wander. Life is too short to solely experience through the screen of a phone.