I distinctly remember when I switched over from my archaic, extremely dumb flip phone to my new, sparkly Smartphone! I could check my Gmail and Facebook in the car, on a jog, at dinner or at party. What a euphoric sensory overload! I spent hours holed up in my room setting up all my social media and mail accounts and discovering I could have apps about birds, puppies and food. Life was beautiful and limitless.
Fast forward to 2013 where Apple continues to convince us that this year’s smaller Ipad or sleeker Iphone will unlock the secrets of life, Pandora’s Box style. It’s just a quick credit card swipe away on those fancy Iphone card readers that the Apple Geeks tote around. I suddenly find myself not so in love with the Smartphone anymore. So what if I get my Facebook updates instantly. I now know TOO much about my friends and their opinions and their new husbands and babies. And all those “cool” but seemingly meaningless apps? They suck my battery and crowd my screen. Sensory euphoria has given way to sensory depression.
Furthermore, every time I go out to eat with friends, it’s really a time to watch them scroll their facebook app or look super involved in their flood of upcoming text messages. “Let’s meet for Happy hour and catch up!” really means I suck down a margarita while you bury yourself in a glowing screen revealing you can’t possibly toy with the idea of having a conversation with me. I am guilty as charged myself, although my obsession is Instagraming pictures of my food and drink while I try to find just the right hue (Nashville and Toaster are my two current faves…also the blurring effect…I am a photo journalist of the future).
But c’mon people.
The idea of switching that phone off for a few hours makes many people spontaneously combust. However, the only thing you would miss is an an annoying email from your boss and the status update that “Susan is eating bacon and liking it.”
The phenomenon has gotten under my skin. Is the Smartphone really helping us do bigger and better things or is the social erosion and technological addiction outweighing the positive here? When I find myself on an awkward elevator ride or at the check-out line with strangers, it’s so hard to fight the urge to whip out my phone and look busy.
Our social graces are suffering here. Remember the good old days when dinner wasn’t code for “Extreme Facebooking” and people looked at you while you were telling a story?
How about you try walking to class and making eye contact instead of furiously trying to win Words with Friends? How about having your dinner or drink session actually involve listening to your friend instead of sending mass texts not so discreetly under the table? There’s a world out there people. Don’t let the Smartphone turn into your only friend. It’s gotten too acceptable to be rude.
If you’ve really hit rock bottom, NBC shares advice on what to do with your Smartphone at the dinner table.