Here’s a scenario many of us encounter every single day: You’re eating dinner and attempting to engage others in conversation, only to realize that everyone else is nose-deep in their phones. It’s no secret that smart phones have created a social void in society in recent years. People would rather text than talk on the phone and it seems like checking Facebook and Twitter feeds has become a second job for some people. Well, don’t worry. You’re not the only one who’s noticed this troubling social (or lack thereof) trend. The Pope is also aware, and he doesn’t like what he sees.
Most of us find people’s need to be connected to their phones to be annoying, but the Pope has taken it one (quite dramatic) step further. In a recent speech, the Pontiff said that texting at the dinner table will eventually lead to war. Not a slight annoyance. Not inability to socialize normally. Not potentially spilling our soup on our laps. Texting at dinner will lead to war, potentially World Ward III.
His exact words as reported by The Daily Mail were, “When we’re at the table, when we are speaking to others on our telephones, it’s the start of war because there is no dialogue.” Where there’s no dialogue, there’s no communication. Without communication there’s pandemonium and maybe even war.
Now, as obtrusive as phones have become in recent years, Pope Francis might be stretching it a bit. He went on to explain that it is almost normal in todays culture to completely disregard the feelings of strangers. Not only that, we seem to have no problem straight up insulting them because of this feeling of internet anonymity. “We need to lower the tone a bit, speak less and listen more,” he added. He’s definitely not wrong about that.
Pope Francis might have been a little extreme in his words, but he’s right about the impact of social interactions from extreme phone usage. If we keep this up, we won’t even know how to communicate without using memes or emoji.
All we can do is try our best to put our phones away during dinner and when we’re watching TV. We honestly don’t need to check IMDb every time a new actor appears on screen. But, don’t feel bad reading this article on your phone. How else are you going to get the news of the day? By watching TV like a chump? Yeah, right.