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A Blessing in Disguise

A Blessing in Disguise

Click, click, whoooosh, send...Ba-ding. Click, click, whoooosh, send...Ba-ding. The tenacious typing of the ten teenage girls blends together in a harmonious melody--a symphony of cell phones. Their flying fingertips graze the slick glass screen, as if they are playing the piano. The roaring buzzes are like vibrations from the bass drum. The gentle ding of the ringer is a quick tap from the triangle. This magnificent musical is coming from the crew girls who are sprawled out on the ledge that overlooks the Schuylkill river, and lazily scrolling through their cell phones while devouring chicken cheesesteaks.

I am in fact one of these clueless girls, wrapped up in the tiny device I clutch so tightly in my hand. “Hey,” Braedyn taps me on the shoulder, pulling me out of my deep daze, “how bad would it be if someone dropped their phone right now,” she joked as she pointed out how dangerously close we were to the edge. My stomach jolted at the mere thought of watching my beloved pink iPhone 5 plummet to its death. I clung to it even tighter.

“That’s not even funny,” I mused jabbing Braedyn with my elbow, “it would actually suck.”

“I feel like someone is gonna,” she shuttered, scooting back toward the safety of the land. I let the terrible thought slip through my mind, and scrolled through my Instagram feed. When the little orange heart came up on the screen indicating that someone liked my selfie, I got a little too excited. You see, it wasn’t just anyone...it was @ryan_falding12. @ryan_falding12!!!! Oh my gosh! Yes. Yes. Yes. Enveloped with ecstasy , I proudly shoved the screen in Braedyn’s face. But just as I was about to display my feat, the inevitable happened. My worst nightmare unfolded in slow motion, right before my eyes. I watched in horror as my precious iPhone 5 plunged into the murky river. I cringed at the sound of the lurid plop, which will certainly haunt me forever. My life was ruined.

Cell phones are highly lethal, yet legal drugs in this generation. Teenagers are overdosing on Instagram, shooting up too many tweets, and popping an excessive amount of texts. Yes, they can help us if we use them for their purpose. However, when we overuse them in the wrong way, they have to potential to destroy us.

First of all, they distract people from their present situations. They suck us out of reality and into the vast world of statuses and posts. We become so engaged in what everyone else is doing and what everyone else has to say rather than focusing on ourselves or the task at hand. Our true surroundings are mere background images to our world of technology. There have been plenty of tragic stories about people who text while driving floating around in the media. In fact, more people die from this cause than they do from drunk driving! By taking your eyes off the road for one second to type a message, you can severely injure or kill yourself or an innocent bystander. A simple “where r u” can result in swerving off the side of the road and leaving someone with permanent brain damage. A naive “wassup” can paralyze someone forever, turning them into a lethargic vegetable. A basic “hi” possesses the daggers to divert someone’s eyes from the road. Is whatever you have to say worth it? Is whatever anyone else is saying that important?

Furthermore, cell phones pay a vital role in the menacing art of procrastination. We waste golden hours checking up on our nagging news feeds and mocking messages. For some reason they seem to be irresistible; they seduce our minds and draw us in with a sweet allure. “See who retweeted you,” they taunt. “Check to see if that attractive boy answered your direct message,” they beckon. And we always listen. We check. We refresh. We check. We refresh. It’s a never-ending cycle of utter boredom and and a common symptom of putting-things-off-syndrome. What’s depressing about it is that we expect something enthusiastic to happen in the the two minutes we spend not staring at it. When I was a cell phone addict, there were countless occasions in which I would not start my homework until ten o’clock at night and then end up falling asleep while doing it. Therefore, I got nothing done and started to fall behind. Getting up in the morning was a daily struggle, and I blame it all on that evil device that laughs at me from the bedside table.

Finally, our cell phones completely corrupt our communication skills. Texting someone is impersonal. The words embedded in the mechanism are dry and dank, expressing no emotions, tone of voice, or facial expressions. People can easily take what someone says out of proportion, especially when sarcasm is involved. A little misunderstanding can result in a calamity of drama. Moreover, cell phones can even give the lion from the Wizard of Oz courage to confront people. They allow the cowards to compose messages that they would never have the prowess to actually say to that person’s face. Hiding behind the screen is simple. Cyberbullies originate from this power of the keys. So do immature and intimidated boys...

Back when I was in seventh grade, I had a crush on this boy, Will. We were both completely shallow about it and based it off of each others’ looks, but hey, what more does a seventh grader look for? Although we never actually talked in person before, he admitted to liking me as well, and we began to text incessantly. However, when I saw him in school, he would practically sprint away from me. He acted as if I was a starving killer whale, and he was the fleeing krill. We made plenty of plans to hang out, but when I showed up he never said one word to me. Meanwhile he would text me and tell me that he really liked me and that I was c00l and b3utiful. Wow....Humiliating. My seventh grade self thought that it was love, but now that I look back upon it I can’t help but laugh at my naivety and stupidity. It was plain old awkward. Face to face communication has been diminished by the use of text messaging.

Without my phone, I am undergoing a difficult withdrawal process . I find myself growing antsy about my Instagram posts. Did @ryan_falding12 like another pic?! I’ll never know! I am silently suffering without that constant Click, click, whoooosh, send... Ba-ding. Sometimes I even hear it in my sleep. I don’t know what to do with myself. But in this rehab process I finally did realize how much of a depressant my phone was. Maybe my life isn’t over. Maybe this is the beginning of perceiving the world in a brighter way. Maybe dropping my beloved pink iPhone 5 was a blessing in disguise.




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