“Our view” is prepared by the Executive board and should be considered the 
institutional voice of The Record

Lydia Farmer, Editor-In-Chief — [email protected]
Brandon Spratt, Managing Editor — [email protected]
Ben Pults, Managing Editor — [email protected]

Adam Schwartz, Opinion/Editorial Editor — [email protected]

Technology, and more specifically smartphones, have become an integral part of society and our everyday lives. We bet that some of you online readers are reading this Our View on some version of a smartphone.
In a lot of ways, smartphones have made our lives easier. Calls, texts and Facetimes allow us to feel connected to family and friends no matter the number of miles separating you. Social media gives us the chance to stay up to date on the latest happenings with high school buddies, our favorite sports teams and of course the Kardashians.

These items that can fit in our pockets with ease, making it easier to stay plugged in. Additionally, every smartphone comes equipped with a camera so we no longer have to rely solely on our memories to document and record our everyday experiences.

The capabilities of smartphones today keep us in constant connection with the outside world; even as we type this, the pings and chimes of our cellphones giving us notifications are ever-present.

In the recent Black Friday shopping extravaganza, mad dashes were made to the iPhone and Galaxy phones. Everyone always seems to desire the latest and greatest smartphone without thinking twice about the full scope of how it will impact their life.

Excessive smartphone use has been linked to numerous negative health effects. Several studies show that being constantly attached to these powerful mini-computers causes increased stress levels, more sleep disturbances, greater risk of depression and most smartphones collect bacteria that can affect your immune system.

We seem unable to take our eyes off our devices even when much more important things demand our attention, such as the road. Texting while driving has become the new drunk driving and made the roads equally unsafe.

Beyond the physical and mental health detriments that smartphones cause, these handheld devices can actually make humanity less social. Oh, the irony that social media sites and apps like Twitter and Snapchat can actually make us less social.

Smartphones have become a social buffer for us; instead of experiencing our surroundings and conversing with others we submerge ourselves in our phones.

We will eat a full meal at the Reef or Gorecki, engrossed in our phones, never even looking at the person sitting across from us. And it has become nearly impossible to endure the seven minute Link ride without getting through a couple levels on Candy Crush.

Therefore, we offer some simple ways for members of the CSB/SJU community to alleviate our smartphone addictions.

Delete your social media apps. Even if it is only temporary, you will notice a change in your behavior and relieve yourself from the stress of maintaining your profiles.

Put your phone on “airplane mode” or “do not disturb” to keep yourself from needlessly checking it at every single notification. This is especially helpful this time of year when final exams, projects and papers require more of our attention.

As Bennies and Johnnies, we are called practice our Benedictine Values of moderation and listening to each other. Try to moderate how much time is spent on your phone and when you aren’t using it, talk with each other.

As the leaders of The Record, communication is incredibly important to us. Even though our smartphones bolster our links with each other and keep us engaged with current events, we all should make an attempt to step away, talk with each other and engage with the world around us.