Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Me vs. The Smart Phone

I've had a flip phone for years and years. And for the most part, I was happy with it. I don't get a whole lot of calls and it mostly existed for unusual circumstances. The one thing I had to admit it didn't do well was text, a fact that caused my teenage sons a great deal of angst when they were out and trying to have a conversation with me. Still, I resisted getting a smartphone because I don't like them.

I realize that the smartphone itself is an inanimate object, a tool to be used for good or ill. But everywhere I look, I see people with their heads down, engaged more with their phone than with the world or the people in front of them. I go to the park and see moms on their phones as their kids are trying to talk to them. I see toddlers being handed phones to amuse themselves. Go out to eat and all the people sitting at the table are interacting with their phones rather than with those around the table. Smartphones have made work a 24/7 experience with people always expected to be a text away regardless of what else they might be doing. It just makes me sad. In carrying the world in our pockets, we have lost something valuable in our interpersonal relationships.

I work hard in my life to maintain a technology/life balance. It's necessary for my mental health. I want the technology to serve me, not the other way around.

In the end, though, I lost the battle. The male members of my household decided I needed one (see inability to text above) and there was a deal through our internet company that made it the same price as what I was paying for my prepaid flip phone. I could even keep my old number. I had no realistic argument I could make other than my own stubbornness, so I had to suck it up and accept the new technology into my life.

I've had it for a couple weeks now. I got it a pretty rose colored case and at son #2's suggestion, named it Juliet. There are things I do like about it. I enjoy having a camera with me everywhere I go and to be able to share pictures without having to hook up my camera to the computer and download the photos. The GPS has helped a couple times already seeing as I lack any innate sense of direction and get lost way more than any person should. I can now text in complete sentences. These are all good things.

I'm working hard to not have it be an appendage, to still only get online a few times a day and to maintain my weekend break from the computer. So far, so good. I don't enjoy having to fight the temptation, though, and despite the convenience find myself missing the days when technology wasn't with us everywhere we go.

No comments:

Amazon Ad