A Rant on Social Media

Social Media, Etiquette Warning: if you read on, you are about to experience a rant.

Instructive in places I hope, yet still a rant.

Recently my wife Maritza and I were at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, the busiest airport in the world. We walked up to wait on the tram that would take us to our gate for our flight. About 20 people were waiting around to board on our section. 18 of the 20 were looking down at their cell phones, checking email, texts, tweets and God only knows what else. My thought, which became my out loud words, was “Does anyone ever look up and see the world around them anymore?” I think someone could walk stark naked through most groups of people and no one would notice (unless it became a YouTube video.)

Did you know that one in six cell phone users between the ages of 22 – 36 have their cell phones paid for by their mom?

A recent Facebook update by a long time friend bemoaned the fact that he had actually (those faint of heart, brace yourself…perhaps you shouldn’t even read on) yes, he actually left the house twice last week without his cell phone. I warned you this would be tough information to swallow. There was a time, not too long ago, when all of us did just that everyday. How did we survive?

In the book “The Winter of Our Disconnect” author and mom Susan Maushart had her entire family go a full six months without any screen time. Good on her. Could you do that? Could I?

My cell phone allows someone’s voice to come in loud and clear. It also has a very sensitive volume control that allows me to turn up the volume and turn down the volume of someone’s voice. So I assume everyone else has this feature too. Though sometimes I think I must be mistaken, because I notice so many people in public feel the need to practically yell into their phones. Or maybe they actually believe that every one within 50 feet of them are hanging on every one of their words.

I’m as guilty as everyone else, so I’m pointing at myself here too. In fact, right now I have immediate access to 3 screens: the laptop on which I am writing this column, the TV on in the background, and my cell phone next to me…

Is there any hope for us at all?

About The Author

Jeff Herring

Discover 5 simple steps for 6 figure success online with content marketing.


  • Ken Montville

    Reply Reply

    Pretty amazing how ‘evolved” we’ve become in the new digital world, huh?

    In addition to the issues in this rant, there are also current studies that show this increased dependence on “screen time” increases loneliness. We don’t interact with real people anymore unless it’s to attend seminars on how to attract eyeballs to our websites (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

    I know that I’m constantly told to respond to e-mail or texts or whatever instantaneously lest the e-mailer goes to the next person and I lose their business. Yet, many of my clients seem to take days to get back t me…which tells me not everyone is glued to their screens.

    As to the volume on cell calls. I’m with you on that. It would be nice if people took their calls and moved them outside or away from the crowds if they need to carry on a conversation.but, nowadays it’s like a cell call is no different from a real life, flesh and blood person entering into the conversation. Kinda weird.

    I hear ya, though.

  • Thanks for the rant Jeff! I hope there’s hope for us…I find myself doing the same with checking my emails and such in public. [I wish I could get my mom to pay my cell phone bill…just kidding] 🙂 but I use times at the grocery store or standing in line to check my email and/or respond to people that I don’t ususally get the chance to respond to. I read articles that I’ve missed and stuff like that

    The phone thing trips me out too! I really avoid having those loud conversations in public…Some conversations are NOT meant for the public. However, I have taken calls in awkward places because I had to or felt that I needed to …yea, I hope that there’s really hope for us

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