“I’m gonna use the bathroom.” “I’ll come with you.”
Okay, sometimes it might be an exaggeration, but people of this generation like to go anywhere with someone by their side. I get it; there can be anxiety of sitting alone or showing up to some event by yourself. Lately though, I notice people waiting for their food alone. I feel bad seeing someone sit by themselves. Their cell phone is their company. They scroll through their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds for companionship and to make sitting alone feel a little less lonely.
I feel a little conflicted when talking about this. I am so invested in including anyone who sits alone, always asking if they want to join my friends and I. But, if you think about it, a lot of friends sitting together also look at their phones rather than enjoying the physical people sitting next to or across from them. What would the difference be from sitting alone on your phone to sitting with others also on their phones? I think my friends are super good about this, appreciating the company around them, rather than reading about the lives of others via social media. Yeah, sometimes we’re on our phones when the conversation dies down, or if we want to show our friends something we saw online or a picture we have.
I’ve just been thinking about it. We get a anxious to some degree when we have to go places alone, but everyone uses their phone. What is there to say about loneliness or going it alone if people always look to their phone to keep them company?
Why talk about this, you ask? I want this culture to change. We are a generation that is addicted to social media; we cannot go anywhere without knowing our phone is charged or having Twitter to check when things feel awkward in real human conversation. Real human conversation, who knew it might feel awkward sometimes?! I guess my point is, and I know I’ve written about it before, but live in the moment, seriously. Embrace the awkwardness; it’ll make for a memory. That tweet about your favorite TV show or about someone needing a nap will be there to read when dinner is over.
So, I know this is supposed to be about chaos, and this moment may not look so chaotic to you. In retrospect, it kind of was. It was one of those moments where you want to experience every single second, absorb it, take it all in. This moment captured by my mom in her seat, ready to watch me cross the stage and receive my high school diploma, was part of an experience that felt like chaos. The graduating class of 2015 from MHS was all jittery, excited, and every feeling in between prior to this moment. Looking back it feels chaotic, because I remember a few moments clearly, but graduation was chaotic in its entirety. The moment felt so surreal. It was one of those moments where so much happens, you might forget to acknowledge that it is happening. Looking back at this photo, I’m so glad my mom captured it. I know in this moment that I was probably nervously smiling because I hate when all eyes are on me. But, I also know I was proud of myself for this accomplishment. The blurriness of the photo and the blurriness of the memory ensues chaos in my mind. It’s an experience that you want every minute to be remembered, but the chaos of the time makes only a few moments clear. But those clearest of moments, they’re beautifully chaotic.