by: Kimberly Phelan '18
*DingDing!* The continued chime of the never-ending technological blast from your pocket—or more likely, your hand. Since the Fellowship, I have become more aware of things that go on around me. The biggest thing I have noticed is the newest plague of our world—our cellphones. It’s next to impossible to walk to class and see more than one person who isn’t intently staring at their phones while making epic dives to avoid oncoming bicyclists, but you don’t stand a chance to make eye-contact with someone on the bus.
We have become so addicted to instant gratification that even walking from one place to another is too boring. We need to know what is going on. We need to stay up to date—even though you just refreshed your Instagram 30 seconds ago. You wouldn’t want to risk being the 3rd person to like your best friend’s picture—she’d never forgive you. We have to know everything and everyone’s business. Didn’t you hear that Bob and Sue broke up? Yeah, they both changed their profile picture and cover photos within five minutes of each other. It’s got to be over.
One thing that I find the most intriguing is that our generation is also much more prone to Fear-Of-Missing-Out. We see that our friends are out doing this or that and we want to be doing that. She went here last weekend, I have to do it now—but I have to look better doing it. We are afraid to miss out because we know what everyone is doing, but in retrospect, it is starting to make us feel more alone and isolated.
We don’t like to interact with each other. We would much rather cancel plans than have to go out in public and see people. We would rather blast our eardrums with music than say hello to a stranger on the bus. We would rather run into a tree on campus than accidentally make eye-contact with someone walking towards us.
All of these things—the social media, the texting, the constant buzz of music in our ears—just serve as distractions from the beauty of the world that God has created for us. The Fellowship gave me the opportunity to put down my phone and experience the life that I was living. It gave me the chance to live fully human. During that month of my life, I was able to hear the leaves rustling in the trees and feel the cool mornings as the sun rose up over the field. It was my taste of Heaven.
However, we all come back to reality. We come back to a world where everyone expects you to be in reach at every second of every day, and so we fall back into the addiction of our phones. We fall back into wanting to look better and get the most likes. We want to show off how great our summer really was. But let me tell you—in case you haven’t yet experienced this—there is NO way to express how much this summer meant to any of us and using social media to try to explain it in 140 characters or less is almost an insult to the program. We have so much more to offer to this world than the pixels we upload on a screen; we have our interactions. We have our community. We have friendship to offer. We are meant for more.
And yet it continues. *DingDing!*
Now, if you have managed to keep up with these posts and read to the end, I commend you. You have had a small glimpse inside of my mind and that is a rarity for most—congratulations. I hope that these thoughts can help to spark a sense of intrigue and cause you, too, to pay more attention to the details in each day. What things do you notice now, after having a new global prescription? I look forward to hearing your insights into our world.