Ringing back human interaction

Anya Eydelman, Page Editor

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One action that can pull us away from our screens is ringing the doorbell instead of texting when we arrive. With the growing number of virtual interactions, the value of person-to-person conversations is being lost. Photo by Chloe Caroll

If the neighbors had seen me walking towards the door they’d say, “There was a troubled girl walking down the street talking to herself earlier,” which is not necessarily wrong, because I was.

There I stood, 25 feet away from my best friend’s house. Yet, I refused to walk down what seemed like the longest brick pathway of my life.

I slowly approached the front steps, raising my shaking hand to press the doorbell. The door opened, leaving a little crack from which her mom cautiously peaked her head from behind the door.

“Hi Anya, is everything okay?”

“Yeah. Sorry, it’s just that my phone is broken and I couldn’t get a hold of your daughter. Is she home?”

She assumed something was wrong, and I don’t blame her. It is uncommon to go to someone’s door unannounced unless there’s a problem. I could sense her relief as she answered. “She’s upstairs sleeping, you can go wake her up.”

Just like that, I was in. Not a text saying “here,” or standing outside her door dialing her phone number. It was the age-old, knuckle-to-door,  human-to-human interaction.

After all these years of endless stories and my parents saying, “When I was a kid, we used to bike everywhere.” I finally appreciated what my parents had been talking about, and part of me understood how they lived as kids.

Relationships between friends are lost somewhere in cyberspace between texted secrets and Snapchats. The linguistics of romance and love stay hidden in ages that are long gone because respectfully asking someone out in person becomes a phone interaction phrased as “We should chill.” Courage gained from looking people square in the eyes and confronting problems has somehow disintegrated into our pixelated screens and become attached to the passive aggressive letter, “K.”

No wonder my friend’s mom didn’t expect to see me. Standing there in her front doorway, I must have seemed like a nostalgic and distant memory of her own high school days.

Although phones have become a necessity in our lives for safety purposes, the reality is that many of us will rely on our phones to shield us from even the most basic daily interactions with other people just to avoid uncomfortable situations.

At the end of the day, what keeps us human is how we interact with other people in person.

I have come to the understanding that leaving the phone and the lifestyle that comes with is a choice.

We can start off with something as easy as ringing a doorbell.

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Ringing back human interaction