Put Your Phone Down

A couple weeks ago, I attended a fashion show. It magnified the worth of women and how they should be treated as queens. This message was portrayed through skits, music, spoken word, and dance. The audience needed to take note of many issues brought up throughout the show. But I couldn’t help but notice that people around me were focused on their cell phones or chatting with their neighbors. At one point, during a spoken word piece, two guys behind me were carrying on a conversation totally unrelated to the event!

Usually, when I attend a show, my phone is on silent (do not disturb mode) and in my purse until intermission or the end of the show. The creators designed this show to share with you. You paid for a ticket to sit in a theater and play on your phone (something you can do at home for free). But this is beside the point.

Young adult African Americans are constantly screaming about how unfair things are. But at a show honoring our people, black queens, we can’t even seem to pay attention to learn to better ourselves in this cold world. Although this was an empowering event, by the end I was frustrated, maybe even a little embarrassed.

Our generation has to have the lowest attention span compared to those before us. With all the new technologies, we expect everything to be quick and simple. If it’s not, we resort to other distractions.

I took a Women’s & Gender Studies course last year in which we watched a video related to women being sexualized in music videos. I was thoroughly engaged in the film, but as I looked around the classroom (which was pretty much all girls), most of them were on their cell phones.

I am taking a Health Promotion course this semester in which the teacher understands our short attention spans. Every class she brings in her cooking timer and sets it to go off half way through the class just so that we can check our phones. We can’t even sit through an hour and fifteen minutes of something that is benefiting us!

It’s especially sad when I can’t even hang out with my own friends without them wanting to SnapChat our natural environment and share it as a story. Live in the moment! Why do our moments need to be shared with everyone else? I am here. You are here. We should be enjoying each other’s company rather than worrying about how many people have viewed what we are doing on this app.

How can we (any group of minorities, including, but not limited to African Americans and females) be so appalled by inequality and not demand change? In order to change circumstances, we as people have to change our actions.

Close Instagram. Exit FaceBook. Stop SnapChatting. It’s time to start paying attention to what really matters; the world that exists outside of your cell phone.

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