Phone Deaf
by

Our technology is interfering with our basic instincts. Not only is online pornography subverting our libidos, smart phones are now making us so oblivious to surrounding environments that we don’t even react to dangerous situations.

In San Francisco, a man pointed and practically waved a pistol on a crowded public train. Nikhom Thephakaysone was “‘hunting’ for a stranger to kill,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Nobody glanced away from their phones or tablets. Someone must have seen the action in their peripheral vision, but we’ve learned to be completely docile in situations like this.

According to the San Francisco District Attorney, “These people are in very close proximity with him, and nobody sees this. They’re just so engrossed, texting and reading and whatnot. They’re completely oblivious of their surroundings.”

Thephakaysone ended up shooting a college student in the head. 

As a Catholic, I struggle every day to live gloriously in every present moment. Yet my iPhone steals my attention. 

The onslaught of technology is intoxicating. Social media was supposed to democratize Washington, and smart phones were supposed to enable every American citizen to engage with their culture. But as people bent toward selfishness, we manage to absorb these innovative tools into our own supposedly autonomous entities. They have made us more isolated and less human.

If we can’t even detect hazardous surroundings, how are we supposed to make ourselves intentionally vulnerable to our loved ones? If we cannot even spare our safety some attention, how are we supposed to defend those around us?

Advanced technology has managed to make casual interaction as virtual as the “social media” that’s replaced it. 

Living is sharing; smart phones have made it “zoning out.” 

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