Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Case of the Smartphone Snobs

It was a dark and stormy night.

Okay, not really, it was a freaking hot and sunny day. But the dark and stormy sounds more suspenseful and exciting.

Perhaps we’ve entered the Twilight Zone of Smartphones, they are taking the world by storm.

Think about it, how many people do you know who own a phone, that’s just a phone? No internet, no email, barely sends text messages, but makes calls like a champ? I can name 4, and they are all 50+ years old. They can barely operate their DVD player let alone a Smartphone.

I’ll admit, I love my smart phone. Sorta. Okay, it’s more like a love/hate relationship. But, other than the sucky battery life, and the dropped calls, and the missed text messages, and the emails at 3am, it’s fantastic.  I like being able to get my emails from this blog on my phone. I like being able to Google an address while I’m away from my laptop. I like being able to take pictures, and get on Facebook and Twitter. Yet, there are some days I miss having that connection to the rest of the world. I remember as a kid when you would see someone broke down on the side of the road, and you would stop and help them. Now, all you do is pick up your phone and make a couple of calls to AAA or a handy friend is on their way to rescue you.

As technology has advanced I think that we, as a society, have forgotten normal social graces, and we’ve forgotten to teach our kids the same thing. I hate going to family dinners when the kids sit around and play on their phones. They don’t realize how much they are missing out on.

On a recent family reunion trip to the Dallas area, we watched the younger kids play and have the best time with their cousins. Yet the older kids stayed in the house and played on their Smartphone or their tablets. They missed so much by being glued to whatever game they were intent on playing. Granted they were glued to their tablets next to their same aged cousins, but unless you asked them a question regarding a game they were playing, you didn’t hear much from them.

Now you are probably thinking that is just a normal part of being a kid, and here is where I tell you how wrong you are.

I played with my cousins. I played horseshoes and washers with the adults. I played on the playground equipment. I entertained myself with my imagination and with the aid of a cousin or two. We spent time together, and we usually went home being the best of friends. I would imagine that if you asked some of the older kids they couldn’t tell you much about what was going on outside during their stay. They probably missed the cousins who tried to make their escape in the paddle boat, and the dancing extravaganza on the deck.

It’s time to unplug, people. Put the Smartphone down. We’ve implemented a no cell phone policy during dinner at our house. My husband and I should be able to spend some time together to reconnect at the end of our day to talk and catch up without Candy Crush or checking the weather to get in our way. After our reunion time in Dallas we also discussed how we would handle video games, Smartphones and tablets if we are ever blessed with children in our home. We played outside, we rode bikes, and we both turned out okay. Obviously raising our children the same way wouldn’t kill them.

So, step away from the Smartphone. Think of it like a zombie, just sucking the life right out of you.

Don’t worry, just like in a suspense book, the hero always wins, if they outsmart the killer or smartphone.

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