SJC students socializing more with phones than friends

Are smart phones taking you over?

“Most definitely,” San Jacinto College student Jessica Cruz said, “like whenever I’m at a restaurant with my friends and we’re waiting on our food, we all just get on our phones instead of socialize.”

It seems like more and more students are getting sucked into their smart phones with everything these gizmos have to offer today. From GPS to online deposits, these gadgets are saving us trips to stores, banks and much more.

“I use my smart phone to find my way around town. I use it for my email. I can take good pictures. I use it for music and I use the calculator a lot,” San Jac student Ricardo Vega said.

According to Cruz, they seem to do pretty much everything, even couponing.

“Like say I’m going to Hobby Lobby and I forgot to print out my 40 percent off coupon, I can pull it out on my phone through my e-mail and use it,” Cruz said.

But are they taking over our social lives? Face-to-face communication is no longer necessary because something as minor as going to the bank and making a payment is done through a mobile device.

“I have the Bank of America App and if I have a credit card payment, I can use the app to see if my payment was delivered through my direct deposit,” San Jac alumnus Benito Perez said. “I don’t even have to go to the bank anymore. I used to go to the bank to do all that stuff but now I just do it through my phone.”

However, some students are aware of the impact smart phones are having on them, especially when they think back to a time before they used them.

“It was better because that way, I had to socialize with people instead of getting on my phone…. And I would actually do my homework instead of getting on my phone and procrastinating,” Cruz said.

Other students like Ricardo Vega disagree.

“I was miserable,” Vega said referring to his pre-smart phone life.

When it comes to hours consumed by phone usage, San Jac students admitted to four, six even 14 hours a day. All said their smart phones are a distraction.

“YES, Especially with group texts,” Perez said. “It’s like having a chat room with all your friends, and it’s distracting because people will have full blown conversations. I’ll be at work and everyone would be texting, and it’s distracting because I want to hop in on the conversations, as well.”

Other students said frequent texts are distracting to the point of causing the end of relationships.

“Every time I go out to eat, I’m always on my phone. I’ve lost a couple of girlfriends like that,” Vega said.

So, is the distraction worth the outcome? Sure they make life easier. But we have to consider that we put so much value in these gadgets, that we are prepared to lose relationships and more than half of our day.

Can someone truly enjoy life through a cell phone?

Some students would even go as far as to say they feel their phones are a part of them. Without them, they would feel incomplete.

“It’s like carrying a tiny lap top that you can call on whenever. But the cons are that when it breaks, you feel lost,” Cruz said.

If students place so much value on these gadgets that losing them causes a grieving stage, maybe it’s time they start reconsidering their priorities.