The Orion

Is your phone controlling your life?

Jamie Fenisey, junior psychology major, and Austin Shankle, junior marketing major, compare the pros and cons of a smart phone versus a traditional phone. Photo credit: Nick Bragg

Jamie Fenisey, junior psychology major, and Austin Shankle, junior marketing major, compare the pros and cons of a smart phone versus a traditional phone. Photo credit: Nick Bragg

Nick Bragg

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Eighty-five percent of adults ages 18-24 own smartphones.

From iPhones to Androids to Blackberries, the trend seems likely to continue until every American has a minicomputer on them at all times.

The dominance of the smartphone leaves students with the choice to join the evolution or create a reality outside of a 4-inch screen.

Jamie Fenisey, a junior psychology major, has been using an old-school LG candy bar-style phone for about eight months now.

“I’ve had numerous iPhones, but I don’t really care for them anymore,” Fenisey said. “I’ve broken a lot of them.”

Since having her old-school phone, Fenisey has become less reliant on technology, she said.

“I have been more dependent on myself since I’ve had it,” Fenisey said. “I learned how to get places without my maps. It’s changed my life. I prefer it now more than anything.”

On the other hand, smartphones have features that make them a helpful tool for living in the 21st century.

Austin Shankel, a junior marketing major, thinks that his iPhone 6 is very helpful, he said.

“I find my smartphone to be the most useful for finding out information,” Shankel said. “We were watching the roast of Justin Bieber, and I asked Siri, ‘How long did Martha Stewart go to jail for?’ I found out in 10 seconds.”

Additionally, 40 percent of college students said that they use their smartphones to get some last-minute studying done right before a test.

“I use my phone as a study guide very often,” Shankel said. “I’ll pull up my study guide, and I’ll just be reviewing everything right before a test.”

Shankel also said that he often checks his phone out of boredom. Even though nothing is there, the urge still lingers to pick up the phone and start scrolling.

Fenisey’s biggest pet peeve is the separation smartphones create, she said.

“It makes me feel alone when other people are all on their iPhones,” Fenisey said. “I’ll be sitting there talking with them, and they will check something while I’m talking to them. It’s kind of annoying because all smartphones do is entertain people, so I am not anymore.”

She can’t be too mad about it because it is our culture, she said, but it definitely rubs her the wrong way when students’ heads are submerged 10 weeks deep on a crush’s instagram page instead of paying attention to the reality in front of them.

Fenisey and Shankel both agreed that most, if not all, of their friends are equipped with a smartphone.

“I cannot relate with people when they are always relating with everything else besides what’s in front of them,” Fenisey said.

Nick Bragg can be reached at [email protected] or @Nick981 on Twitter.

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Is your phone controlling your life?