Have you heard your cellphone ring in the last couple of days? Do you have a “house phone”? Do you even use ringtones for calls anymore? I know I cannot answer yes to any of these questions. With the rise of smartphones over the last few years there has been a decline in actual telephone usage, not that we didn’t see that coming. But why have we become so dependent on them and so quickly as well? Having had a smart phone in one form or another for over four years now I don’t know if I could ever go back to a “normal” phone ever again, nor do I think those types of phones that we once knew will ever be back on the rise again. The new smartphones are great with all the helpful apps – whether it’s an iPhone, Blackberry or another type of device. But with the gain of all this new technology in our phones, have we lost the actual point of a phone to begin with- talking to people?

I have to admit, I am a lover of the Blackberry Messenger feature and texting people who are all over the world and country – but even my own mother would rather text me before she’d call me up. And we live in the same house! Don’t get me wrong I do occasionally get a phone call here or there but I feel as though we as a society have moved away from hearing someone’s voice. Even with the rise in emailing over the last few years I have been wondering if we will remember what people actually sound like versus just what we think they do. Personally I have always been one to be attached to my phone or computer as if it were the last day on earth, but this past week for one of my classes we had to keep a media diary for one day of how much time we spent using different products. Whether it was our cellphones, computers, checking emails, or talking on the phone. I was more than surprised by the results that I received by the end of the day. I spend about 10 hours combined on all of my devices – though not continuously. I cannot speak for anyone but myself but I think I need to do something that doesn’t involve technology. For starters I have been keeping up with actually reading books in print and not from a device and yesterday I decided that I was going to try a new recipe a friend have given me.

Do you think you spend too much time consumed by technology? What about actually calling someone up today? In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, surprise someone you love with a phone call and let them  hear your voice!

Louise Marie Russo is currently an undergrad at The School of Professional Studies majoring in Communication and Culture. She enjoys traveling, cooking, baking, photography as well as volunteering. Her goal one day is to work with a non-profit organization advocating for the homeless population of New York City and one day publishing a book of photography.