That Phone

I remember walking to lunch when I worked in the garment center, and a man was walking down the street with a phone in his hand that wasn’t connected to anything, and it was the size of his head. I remember thinking, is it that important that he needs to go outside in the world with a phone?

Fast forward. God forbid any of us don’t have a phone; wherever we go, whatever we do, wherever we are, it is always with us.    

There’s something about having the phone. It is vice akin to having a warm blanket as a baby. Wherever you are, there’s this need to take a picture even when everyone’s hanging out, look at your email when you’re in a meeting, or finish something while you’re still conversing with someone on your phone. I know cause I do it all the time, and it’s terrible.

I see families on Instagram filming their children while the other parent is filming them filming their children doing everything and anything. What are those children seeing and thinking watching their parents on that device all the time? As these children grow up, many see their lives shared with the world.

We’ve all been reading about what health professionals say regarding phone use for children, particularly teens. The farther the phone is from your hands, the better. The recommendation is that kids’ schools leave their phones at the front desk and get them back at the end of the day. If the parents need to contact their child, there has to be a way to do that in school. Phones keep us from focusing on the moment, being in the moment, engaging in the moment, or just taking our heads up and looking at the sky.

Even when you get lost or go on vacation, and you’re looking for a street or a number, sometimes, if you put your head up, it is right there in front of your face, but we so depend on these phones. I do fear for the generation that grew up with these phones, particularly around their social skills.

The phone has made me an efficient machine and is not pretty. I know I am multi-tasking my way through a conversation or meeting, which is awful. Knowing is step number one, and step number two is working on breaking the habit. I need to seriously work on this.