Hehe, I did it again. Of COURSE I’m not going to have smart phones destroyed, I’m not that backward. But if, say, someone else were to ban smart phones from the United States…I have to be honest, I think I’d get over it soon enough. That was my attempt at a title that would make you wonder. When you see titles like “I’m No Longer Waiting” or “Marriage Isn’t for You,” it makes you wonder and want to read on.
I want you to want to read on because I think what I’m going to say is something rather valuable. It’s bothered me for awhile but I’m just now saying something about — smart phones. In all their wonder and fun and organizational value, they’ve taken over. They are, as Jarrid Wilson says here, our spouses. We cannot go anywhere without them, otherwise we’ll feel lost. We have to check on them often because we miss them, and in general we spend a lot of time with them. Based on how I spend my time, I probably love my phone more than the people in my life.
…You see a young mother on her phone, too engrossed in social media to notice her three year old son’s attempt to get her attention…You see a couple in a restaurant, never once breaking eye contact with each other on their date…You see a group of friends hanging out, spending their time Snapchatting with the friends that aren’t there…
When did it get this way? We love smart phones because they help us get fit and organized, keep us occupied when we have time to kill, and help us achieve our dreams, sometimes. The multitude of apps give us every opportunity to connect with people and stay in contact with anyone. Which is great, yeah, but I don’t feel very connected when I’m hanging out with someone who’s constantly texting other people, and I’m sure others feel the same about me.
Maybe I’ll even claim that phones, in our attempt to connect with everyone, have broken our ability to be with the people we’re sitting next to.
And I think we’re starting to measure our value as persons based on the notifications on our phones, and the “Likes” on our pictures, and the Snapchats we get. That’s just my assumption based on how often we interrupt or ignore conversation to respond to a text. I won’t even get started with our Candy Crush addictions.
I’m guilty of this, even though I’d like to think I’m not. But I love seeing texts pop up (even if I don’t like the effort of responding:)) as much as the next person. So I’m going to try this year to “divorce” from my phone (Jarrid Wilson’s term), and try to be present with my spouse, with my family, and with my friends. I will leave my phone in my purse until it won’t be intrusive, and I will use it the way it should be used, as a tool to communicate with others, not as my lifeline and best friend. I will not feel the pressure to get on it though others around me are texting and instagramming constantly, because my value is not in how many people wish to contact me through my phone.
I challenge you to do the same.
*Side note: I know there are emergencies, so you know, don’t keep your phone on silent all the time, and when the phone actually rings, answer it then – at that point you can ask to call the person back or excuse yourself to take the emergency call, especially if you’re expecting one. Never let it be said I want people to ignore their phones when someone really needs to get a hold of them. However, we also have to realize that more things can wait. Our society has been recently built on this idea that everyone needs to answer back RIGHT NOW, but we didn’t think this way until we had cellphones and instant communication.