We depend on our phones as an extention of our memory. The “youth of today” are not as capable of doing basic math in their heads because what’s the point when you have a calculator with you at all times? We don’t need to remember the author and title, we just need to remember enough key words to find a source again. While we might not like to admit it, a majority of us in the industrialized world rely on smartphones to augment our cognition. It’s external storage of knowledge. Whether this is bad or good or both is besides the point however; the real question is why can we rely on our phones and not other people?

The easy answer is that it’s less work. Phones don’t demand emotional support, and even their “alone time” of update installations only takes about 20 minutes every few months. The cellular device operates in a manner that optimizes it’s usefulness to the individual owner. Relationships are much harder. Relationships involve emotions and a wide variety of factors we can’t easily pin down all the time. Relationships also involve humans, where the effort is expected to be reciprocal. 

We rely on phones because there’s very little chance it will come back to haunt us. People are difficult to deal with, and so it’s much easier to just rely on something without any extra baggage. But frankly, we need the extra baggage of dealing with people. Our relationships are important, more than any material thing. When we rely on people, it makes us vulnerable. But we need to be vulnerable or we suffer alone. So talk to those you care about. Forgive petty arguments. Take the time to listen to each other. Depending on others is uncomfortable because it means you can’t be selfish, and that’s frightening, but it’s worth it.  

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