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Do you have a song you listen to everyday? I definitely have some regulars—a couple of them being “I Don’t Wanna Hear It” by J. Roddy Walston and the Business, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Samira Winter, Local Natives or anything from An Awesome Wave, Alt-J’s break out record. I listen to a whole lot of music and I almost always have my headphones in. So I guess in that sense, I’m always on my phone because it's where my music is.
Freshman year, my Courage to Know professor compared BC’s campus to the other campus he taught on. My professor had seen something like eight out of ten people walk by him with heads down and their headphones in during his walk from the parking garage to Higgins. He asked us what we thought it said about us as a community. My response at the time wasn’t so much an answer, but a defense. I said that I was guilty, but that was only because I love music.
I don’t know what my professor would say about our phone activity nowadays and I don’t even know if he still works at BC. What I do know is that I see people texting during classes, meetings, and lectures. When I go to the occasional party, I see a circle of faces lit up in the dark by their Androids, iPhones, flip phones, what have you. I see people on dinner dates talking while they scroll down through God knows what.
I’m guilty of doing this every now and then, but come on people! For the love of real human interaction, be present! Be with who is around you! I mean, do what you have to do, but do you know what I think? You gotta be human first. The mention in a tweet or the text about whether or not you go out that night can wait. Give your thumbs a break, you’ll be surprised how nice it is to be a little disconnected. You might be less anxious, maybe even a little happier.
I raise my ice coffee to those who don’t take their phone out when all their friends are busy on theirs. Stay strong, you special people. You make my moment when I see you randomly at lunch waiting for your friends to come back to reality.
A friend of mine was telling me how he likes to listen to the sounds of the mountain instead of music when he snowboards. I thought that was beautiful. I mean, I’m probably still going to get down to some tunes, but I think that’s still an important message to make an effort to listen more, try to do it with me!
As the virtual world becomes increasingly a larger part of our life, we cannot forget to take part in the physical world in which we live in more.
We can’t be what we are becoming. Boston College has never been anything but we, as men and women, living for others. So as we all try to live for others outside of our personal lives, remember those within. Keep those close to you closer. And cherish every moment, because I think we can all attest to the fact that time flies.
When you look back at your college years, you aren’t going to remember every thing you read on your phone, but those human moments we have together can stay ingrained in our memory, if you let them.
Sure, you may still see me walking to my music. But my head will be up. You can find me enjoying the day and your lovely faces around campus. Put a smile on, put your phone down and keep on keeping on.