A few days ago I was out having dinner with my little family and as I sometimes like to do when my sweetie is busy tinkering with his iPhone, I was people watching. There was a big girls' night group of ladies next to us. You know, the type of group you expect to be loud and boisterous and having an overall good time. But it was pretty quiet for a gaggle of gals all sipping a fruity cocktail. Then I noticed that they were all glued to their phones. For seriously almost the entirety of their dinner.
Has anyone else seen this? A group of people sitting around a table and not a one of them is engaged in the people around them but rather what's on their phone. Why go out in the first place?
Then there are the text and driver's. That should be an automatic ticket. I passed a woman not long ago who had a cigarette in one hand and a phone in the other. She was driving with her knee! What. The. Heck. It's one thing to put my life in danger but a whole other thing entirely to risk the safety of my daughter because of someone else's carelessness.
I don't have a smart phone. I used to have a Droid but the sucker conked out on me about 2 months after having it. Between you and me, I was relieved. I don't like touch screen. I don't like that my phone was freezing up all the time because it had to update its 5000 apps. I like to keep things simple. So my husband got me a $14 flip phone with big 'ole buttons and no complications. Oh happy day. So what's my reasoning for this almost archaic simplicity you ask? I'll tell you...just put down your phones for a sec and pay attention.
- I do not give a flying flip about keeping up with the Jones' or Kardashians' or any other well connected family. I see the allure of a smart phone, of a computer that is virus free, etc. I know it makes you more connected and that in a jam it can really help you out. Some of the apps out there really do make life easier but do you really, absolutely need to scan your finger print to answer a phone call? Is everyone but me James Bond? It seems like every time a new phone or tablet comes out suddenly the phone you have and loved is crap. It's a status thing. It's cool to have the latest techno toy. I get it. But not really. I don't understand how the phone you have determines your status in life.
- Everything becomes so impersonal. Have you ever met someone that will put every thought they have on Facebook but when you talk to them in person it's like talking to a shell shocked turtle? It is so easy to hide behind the power and vastness of the Internet. You can be who you want to be. Alter your pictures so that you look perfect when the imperfections are what make you beautiful. You can be the biggest, baddest dude in the world behind a screen but when it comes game time in person some people would honestly quiver in their boots if they had to back up their smack talk. I appreciate social media and the Internet for what it was founded upon. A way to connect when face to face interaction is impossible. After all, I couldn't keep you guys entertained without it. But I think lately the basis of the best technological inventions has been overrun.
- It makes people careless. So many people lost their lives and didn't have to because of a text message; because of distracted driving that is connected to some form of technology. We've all seen the public service announcements that show us the reality of texting and driving, yet we still continue to do it. It should be very clear to each and every one of us. There is nothing, and I do mean nothing, that can't wait when you are driving a car. There are some people that may not care about risking their lives but when you do something so careless, you risk the lives of everyone around you.
- It's not foolproof. As my readers know, my computer decided to give up on me completely for no reason. It took a complete system restore and wiping the hard drive of everything for it to work again. For the few days it wasn't working, I was lost. I couldn't get dinner recipes off of Pinterest, I couldn't blog, and I couldn't facebook stalk people. Talk about a wasted life. No, not really lol but it did make life harder. My husband finally rolled his eyes after all my complaining and says, "you need to learn to live without the computer and just read a book like you used to." He was right, dadgum him. I waste so much time cruising the web and becoming dependent on it that I have no clue what to do when I no longer have it.
- My biggest problem with technology is the time we waste on things that don't matter. Scrolling through rants of people you barely know on Facebook, Googling cat videos, and tweeting about every meal you had that day. Nothing is sacred or private anymore. Everything is everyone's business. And we love it. I'm as guilty as anyone. It' just that special moments have been overcome by a need to put it on Facebook as soon as it happens instead of just enjoying the moment. Instead of relaxing and reading a good book we're obsessed with how many people have retweeted our latest snide comment. Things like cyberbullying have become the norm when we could use technology to lift up young girls with flaws and insecurities.
I think my reasoning is probably nothing new to most people. I think we all know that technology has enveloped us all and to an extent, it's really not a bad thing. We're connecting in ways we couldn't before. Sharing moments with loved ones all over the world. I just think it's time to stop letting our phone's control us and time to take control of the situation.
I know for myself personally, I am enforcing a no technology day when my kid or kids are older, and probably a no technology night for myself and my husband now. We can't live without it, that much is obvious. But I think it is important to take the time to live the moments we're given and appreciate them without the influence of everyone else in the world.