This Thanksgiving, be thankful to have to put your phone away, and talk

Teens busy with cell phones

Social media has taken over many people’s lives. Almost every person you meet has a Facebook account, Twitter account, Instagram, Snapchat, or anything in between. Even texting, as smart phones and social media continue to grow and add new features, the less communication we see face to face.

The biggest distraction for most people today — whether it be a distraction from driving, studying, listening to someone who is trying to have a conversation with you — is their phones. The amount of times someone can scroll through Twitter and Instagram in the span of 15 minutes is a few too many. While social media can be a great tool as a news source and keeping people connected with others who they may not see on a daily basis, it can also be the thing that makes us suffer in other areas of our lives.

Sometimes, even when I’m spending time with a few friends, we all seem to end up on our phones — texting, responding to emails, checking Snapchat — when we should be sitting there having a conversation. Social media, texting, and calling started as a way to reach someone when you weren’t close enough to go talk to them in person. Now, even being a room away from someone doesn’t stop us from pulling out our phone and simply sending a text.

I don’t think we do it because we’re insincere, or because we’re becoming anti-social. It’s become so easy for us to just take out a phone and send a text, rather than make the effort to go talk to someone in person.

As we all head into Thanksgiving weekend, where many will gather around family and friends, be thankful for the person who tells everyone to put their phone away during dinner. Be thankful for the people in your life who when they see you this weekend, want to catch up with you about your life, who want to hear you talk about what’s going on. Sure, texting, calling, and facetiming are all great tools that have allowed us to stay connected with those who we don’t see all the time. But, let’s not lose sight in the value of a face to face conversation, and the ability to turn of our devices and reconnect the “old fashioned” way. When you see people this weekend who never get to see you, stay off your phones and social media. You can survive without it for a day.

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