Article: Put Down That Cell Phone MCC!

Put Down That Cell Phone MCC!

As a counselor here at MCC, I meet with students who feel stressed, anxious, and depressed on a daily basis. A common theme with these students tends to be a lack of connection with other people, feelings of isolation and loneliness. In order to help my students and support the Civility Committee initiative, I’m constantly brainstorming ways to help MCC feel more connected. One very small change that I think could have a big impact could be as simple as putting down that cell phone.

All you have to do is walk down the halls of MCC at any given time of the day and you will see an overwhelming amount of people preoccupied by their cell phones. You rarely see people connecting with others by making eye-contact or saying hello. Because I am guilty of this myself, I can think of a number of reasons why people are immersed in their phones. We live in a world where we constantly feel the pressures to multi-task in order to get everything done and cell phones help us accomplish more with less time. Cell phones are also an excellent way to avoid small talk or uncomfortable conversation and sometimes serve as a safety net for anxiety. But no matter what your purpose or reasoning for using that phone, it seems to also be serving a detrimental and negative consequence-the disconnection from others around you.

I think we can make very small changes to help make MCC feel more connected and create a supportive environment. Let’s challenge ourselves to put our cell phones down for a day, (or even an hour, or even while we are walking in the halls) and make a conscious effort to speak and connect with others, to be present, and to live life in the moment instead of somewhere else….. Here are some other helpful hints to cultivating a sense of community at MCC:

• Say Hello and smile to people in the hallway

• Really listen to the people around you and your loved ones

• Make an effort to stop multitasking and live your life in the present moment

• Perform an act of kindness everyday (pay it forward)