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2017 Kane County Chronicle Best of the Fox

Marmion's Manly Man: Techno-holics anonymous

Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 8:21 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 10:02 a.m. CDT

I once had a teacher tell me that someone becomes “addicted” to their smart device when they begin to worry about finding a place to charge it. In that case, the cellular phone demons residing in my pocket have most presumably taken over the major control centers of my brain.

My name is Kurt Zepeda, and I’m a techno-holic, along with a great chunk of the current American population.

It all started with a simple flip phone at the end of eighth grade. Besides thinking that I had suddenly acquired the key to the gates of the popular with a single opening of the screen, I also developed an infatuation with the classic 8-bit Snake. Slowly, the phone worked its evil magic and lured me closer into tech oblivion. Since then, phones have evolved. One can now equip himself with a number of new gadgets and applications to avoid as much human contact as possible. For example, fascinating technological advancements have allowed people to take selfies with cats while also messaging/tweeting/hash-tagging to kingdom come about the new cat-selfie craze.

Who needs company when they have an irate feline adorned with claws on a rampage due to a startling series of camera flashes?

Yes, I do admit that a multitude of my peers could barely survive three days without turning on their phone and crushing some circular candies. On a rather similar note, I must also divulge that this “addiction” causes human-to-human interactions among my age group to decrease quite a lot.

However, as a functioning teenage male of arguably typical intelligence, my ability to justify certain habits knows no bounds.

Excessive usage of a phone can become acceptable in some given circumstances. In the instance of an awkward public event filled with strangers, one can remove the phone from his or her pocket, leave it off and simply tap away in order to convey the idea of a social life.  

As a precaution for emergencies, many of my friends keep their phones on themselves at all times. Say I’m driving along one of the many hazardous and menacing streets of Geneva, and my car veers off into a tree. Instead of immediately calling the competent authorities, I can first post about my life troubles with an unwarranted amount of emoticons, and then seek medical attention for any fractured bones or internal hemorrhaging. 

Perhaps, some of the worst effects of cellphone “addiction” have yet to reveal themselves, and, perhaps, this affliction doesn’t even exist. But, I’d still recommend a bit of moderation. Phones should enhance humanity’s capability to get together and connect – not simply continue to propagate the plague of uselessness amassing on servers everywhere. In the end, I think the Internet would appreciate a small break from all the megapixels of cat selfies.

Kurt Zepeda is a St. Charles resident and a senior at Marmion Academy in Aurora. He enjoys running, writing and the occasional confection. His column runs every other Thursday in the Kane County Chronicle. Contact him at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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