We are all guilty of it, whether its walking through the halls, sitting on the bus, waiting for class to begin or in line at the cash register; a large majority of us spend a lot of time staring at our phones. We live in two separate worlds, the one physically existing around us, and the hyper-reality we engage in through a small hand held device. By giving our real lives such undivided attention, there are many things that we are bound to miss.

A major element of reality that you miss while glued to your phone screen is eye contact. Ever hear that a smile is contagious? Think of all the smiles you’ve missed while staring at your phone, and the chance to make someone else smile as well. Ever made exchange a glance with someone cute and hope you’ll cross paths again? You may pass them all the time and never notice. It’s eye contact that sparks small conversations. A simple “hi, how are you” can affect both your day or someone else’s more than one may think. Without eye contact, you could be surrounded by people and still feel all alone.

Only being partially involved in reality takes away any element of living in the moment. While glued to our phones, most of us are consumed with social media, constantly infatuated and curious about what others are up to. It is almost as if we are living through everyone else world rather than the one right in front of us. Memories are built by living in the moment, it is rare for a good story to start with “This one time, while browsing social media on my phone…”

 

Many of us are missing the ability to battle through tough or awkward situations. Ever find yourself in an uncomfortable social situation and resort to your phone to avoid it all together? We will eventually lack the courage it takes to smile at the person we don’t particularly like, or ask a sad looking person if they are okay. We have come to use our phones as a shield for social uncertainty.

I guess you could say what it comes down to is missed opportunity. The opportunity for genuine human connection, basic social skills, and memories that are made by living in the moment. When you sit back and think about it, it really can be scary to ponder the thought of what you may have missed while glued to your phone screen. Think of all the opportunities that life is throwing at you, and you’ve been oblivious to them for the sake of your Instagram feed, or someone else’s Snapchat story.