I’m Concerned About My Privacy, And You Should Be Too.

I read an article on Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Snapchat feature today that presented a girl who gave up her iPhone for a flip phone.

My first reaction was astonishment. I was amazed that someone from my generation was able to experience the convenience of an iPhone and willingly give it and all of its features up for a simple flip phone.

A flip phone doesn’t have the Facebook app signed in and waiting to be used while waiting in line for coffee. It doesn’t have the Snapchat app to send hysterical pictures to friends throughout the day. It doesn’t have group messaging to coordinate who’s eating lunch in the dining hall at 11:30 so you don’t have to eat alone.

My second reaction was embarrassment – not for this girl, but for myself. How have I let a piece of technology control my daily habits so much that I couldn’t imagine life without it? I’ve become unable to stand in a line for coffee without clutching it as a safety net to avoid talking to strangers. I can’t even read 10 pages of a homework assignment without checking Instagram at least once.

My iPhone is the first thing I see when I wake up every morning because it’s my alarm. That puts the phone in my hand. It doesn’t leave my hand until after I’ve checked my notifications and I’m forced to put it down to get dressed.

My iPhone is the last thing I see before I close my eyes for the night and the last thing I hold. I have more physical contact with my iPhone than I do with other human beings.

And I know I’m not alone. Surely not everyone is as attached to their phone as I am, which I partly blame on being a journalism major and habitually checking my email for appointments.

Surely I’m not the only one that doesn’t even remember their passwords for said social media accounts because I stay permanently logged in on my phone.

And when those who aren’t millennials see our obsession with what has become similar to an external organ, they wonder why. Why can’t we put our phones down? Why aren’t we more concerned about our privacy? Why do we let an object control our emotions, thoughts and actions?

Between photos we’ve posted on Facebook and tweets we wrote in the last 5 years that are rumored to be recorded by the government, I don’t feel as though I own the right to my privacy anymore and it’s too late to get it back.

So maybe the girl with the flip phone has the right idea – maybe if we all stepped back instead of obsessing over advancing technology further, we’d regain control of our lives and our privacy.

But when children are growing up playing Candy Crush on mommy’s iPhone instead of playing with Legos, I don’t know how feasible going back in time would be.

Technology expands each day, and many of us worry that if we don’t adapt to the advances, we’ll fall behind.

I don’t know which is worse – being a step behind everyone else, or someone having knowledge of every step you take.


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