June 18, 2024

This past Friday, members of the Wittenberg community decided it was time to take a step away from their cell phones and reclaim conversation by taking a 10-minute break to connect and do something meaningful with others.

The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) at Wittenberg held an event titled “Disconnect to Reconnect” in an attempt to address the issue that one out of five people can’t go 10 minutes without having to look at their cell phone. The event took place in the main lobby of the Benham Pence Student Center and encouraged passerby to experience a device free world. Writing encouraging notes to the people at NAMI, having face-to-face conversations or participating in one of the many arts and crafts are just a few activities that people did for 11 minutes of uninterrupted fun.

It’s no secret that today’s society is becoming more and more addicted to technology and it’s causing many to not appreciate what the world (or Wittenberg) has to offer. NAMI’s goal was to help students and faculty realize just how big of a problem it truly is and to provide suggestions on how to help the world reclaim conversation. The event allowed students and faculty to share their thoughts on the matter.

“No one just talks to the people around them anymore,” George Hauser, ‘18, said. “You can’t even walk into a classroom before class without seeing everyone buried into their phones. What’s super ironic is when I was passing through the event, the person working the table were staring at their phone for the majority of the time.”

However, the event did prove to be challenging for many students who learned just how long 10 minutes felt when they couldn’t fight the temptation and had to use their cell phone.

“Taking a 10-minute break from my phone is surprisingly a lot harder than I thought it would be,” Victor Verdier, ‘20, said. “With all of the other things going on in the Student Center, it was hard not to feel awkward and want to scroll through my phone.”

The message was well received as people continuously came to get involved. Students left the event with a realization of how dependent they are on their cell phones and what that dependence is causing them to miss. By disconnecting from your cell phone, you can find connections you didn’t even know existed. Remember, your cell phone can wait, but the world can’t.

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