The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Mexico fans react after Mexico F Julián Quiñones 73rd-minute goal during the MexTour match between Mexico and Brazil at Kyle Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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The Fighting Texas Aggie Band performs at halftime during Texas A&Ms football game against ULM at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
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Justin Chen June 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Scarcely social due to screens

Photo by Photo by Taylor Fennell

Student are often seen checking their phones, even when important events are taking place in front of them. 

Sunday evening, as Justin Timberlake wrapped up the Super Bowl halftime show, I couldn’t help but watch the teenage boy beside him concentrate on posting a selfie of the experience.
This wasn’t a quick snap of a photo to post later — from the moment #selfiekid took the picture, he was looking down at his phone. Afterward, I was surprised to realize that this instance didn’t annoy me. I actually related to the young selfietaker.
I mentally assessed the similar occasions I have experienced and felt guilty. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have my phone out for the majority of the One America Appeal benefit last semester. Still, I know I’m one of millions of people who engage in this behavior every day.
We somehow obtain the opportunity of a lifetime, whether that be breathing the same air as five former presidents or dancing beside Justin Timberlake, and we eclipse the experience by taking photos for our Instagram feed. Our motives are pure — we want to relive this memory forever and share it with our friends. However, by watching life through a screen, we miss out on the ability to truly enjoy the moment we’re in.
There are elements of an experience that simply cannot be portrayed through a screen. The spectacularity of any show is diminished with a camera and because our eyes are focused on images on our phones, music is not thoroughly appreciated. The chance to make the moment even better disappears when we pull our phones out of our pockets.
This obsession with capturing everything in our lives has caused social interaction to evolve in an incredibly unhealthy fashion. There is no longer a need to ask loved ones about their day because we’ve already seen it on their Snapchat story. Conversely, we are upset when they don’t ask about ours, regardless of the fact that they saw our posts. We judge others for their captions and filters, essentially discounting the characteristics that make them human.
I’m not proposing a ban on selfies, social media or the beautification of Instagram feeds. In fact, I encourage each of those activities. I am, however, advocating for appreciation of the adventures. Moving forward, I’ll concentrate on living in the moment and hope to snap some photos in the midst. After all, capturing photos of life is a fantastic privilege, but it means nothing if we can’t tell the stories that accompany them.

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