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As we all know UNC Chapel Hill had an amazing win last night over Duke, beating the Durham team by eight points.  Following the game, a record 10,000 students stormed the streets cheering, hugging, crying, shouting, and sweating. It was truly an incredible sight.  Many of us ran from the Dean Dome and dorms roughly a mile away from Franklin Street while singing our school’s alma mater. Being a Chapel Hill student, nothing will ever come close to that experience for me.

I remember distinctly everything moment from last night. Every moment! As if it was a movie, I have replayed the night in my head over and over again. In fact, I don’t think it has actually hit me yet how surreal the whole experience was.

Yet, as I have stalked everyone’s pictures on Facebook, read all the Carolina win tweets on Twitter, read my own text messages with my friends, and edited my own pictures/videos…I can’t help but wonder, can I truly remember every moment?

I question this because, for me at least, I was on my phone more than I can count while celebrating on Franklin Street. So, in essence, did I truly experience every moment?

This is a question I have often pondered at other large events where I have watched so many people celebrate with their phones. Instead of simply taking in the moment, people take pictures/videos, post on Facebook/Twitter, send Snapchats like crazy, and text message their friends. How can you enjoy the moment if the whole time your face is staring at a phone screen?

UNC students and fans rushed Franklin Street following the NCAA win in 2009. Although this was only five years ago, smart phones (with their cool applications and what not) were less popular. In fact, Apple had only released their first iPhone roughly two years prior. That being said, individuals did not have the luxury of having a high-tech piece of technology in the palm of their hands. So, did they enjoy their experience just a bit more than I enjoyed mine?

What about students before the mid 2000’s? They were not at all connected by mobile devices.  Although they could not document their experience to the extent that we now can…do they have a better appreciation because of it? They got to live in the moment and enjoy their experience without worrying about constantly checking their phones for message updates or worrying about taking the best profile picture. Instead, they were just there!

My point behind all of this is…has the advancement of technology altered the way we live each moment of our lives?  Many of us, including myself, feel the need to always be connected, so our phones go with us everywhere. But in doing this, are we missing out on the those tiny precious moments when we are too busy staring at a screen?

I can’t help but wonder if I had left my phone in my room last night before running to Franklin, would I have had a completely different experience? Would I have enjoyed myself more simply because I was free from all technology and could live in the moment?

However, the sad part in all of this is I don’t think we will ever be able to go back to the days when technology did not influence how we live and experience every moment. Everywhere I turned last night, everyone was on their phones. Sure, I guess I need to accept the fact that this is the age in which I live in…but I sometimes wish this wasn’t the case.

I love my phone, don’t get me wrong. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that I might have missed some wonderful moments last night simply because I was connected to my phone.

Oh well, at least I was there to experience it…even though I might not have been completely there (if that makes sense).

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TAR HEELS!!!!!!!!!

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Here is a photo I found of students entering the Dean Dome before a previous Carolina game.  Bonus points to the person who can count the correct number of people on their phone in this picture.

Also, shouts to the girl, with brunette hair, in the middle with two foam fingers…no phone and she looks pumped for the game!

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