• scottwguthrie

Dumbphones

One of the nice things about this new place we moved into is I have a place to put (and actually use) a desk. One of the challenges I gave myself for the desk was, if I were to use it, try to keep all your electronic use located there. That's right, anything involving a laptop, iPad, or even iPhone should all happen at the desk.


Well, in a week, that has already failed.


The laptop thing, I can totally do. I like to have this nice writing corner where I can go and have coffee and actually write. Mavis, our 6 year old Frenchie, usually curls up on the rug behind me and sleeps while I work. It's in a quiet part of the house and there is a fan to keep me cool.


The iPad has migrated to the bed. That's usually reserved for playing the one game I play on it. Yes, I'm almost 40 and I play a game on my iPad. It was really for when I was in NYC and needed something to scrub the stress from my mind at the end of the day. It was an electronic sorbet. That being said, I still check in on it everyday.


The real problem area is the smartphone. We take it with us everywhere. To the bathroom-surely you can check those emails or keep up your notes on the toilet, right? To the kitchen-I like to put music on our speaker while I cook. To the living room-gotta keep up to date while watching Netflix. And of course, at the end of the day to the bedroom-for an alarm to wake to, and who am I kidding to check that Instagram before bed and when waking up.


I have thrown up in my mouth several times just now describing my iPhone habits. I have had a long standing love/hate relationship with my iPhone. It comes down to 2 big points:


1. We think we NEED them.


We need food. We need water. We need oxygen. And for a majority of people, their smartphone is either right after those necessities, or for some maybe before food or water. I am what you would consider a technology native. Being born before the 80s, I knew what it was like to only have your imagination to entertain you. To having to go to a special building, look up the information you were seeking in a big book that was hidden away with a special code you had to decipher in order to locate it. To having to choose from a handful of channels by selecting the one you want on a device that was connected to your TV physically, so you really had to want to change the channel (which involved traversing your living room to the TV).


Then internet came along and suddenly everything came to that computer. Then smartphones eventually came along and everything came to our fingertips. Which brings me to the second point--


2. SMARTphones have made us DUMB.


We no longer NEED to know anything. We can no longer say, "I don't know." That little rectangle can give us the answer to almost anything we could wonder. But adversely, we no longer require the ability to retain certain information. Remember when you knew people's phone numbers? I know my wife's and a handful of family's, but I couldn't tell you my best friend's phone number off the top of my head! Addresses? Forget about it. Other things this technology has rid us of the need to retain:


Directions

Mathematics

Names

Recipes


Naturally, I'm stalling for more topics because I ALMOST REACHED FOR MY IPHONE TO LOOK SOMETHING UP!


Seriously, smartphones have made us dumb. We are de-evolving. Just look at any street in America. You see people frozen, hunched over, squinting at their phones. On staircases, escalators, street sidewalks, people have stopped mid-stride to check their text messages. People in their cars are posting on Instagram from the driver's seat! People are completely unaware of their surroundings on a city bus, subway, train, trolley, etc. because they are on Facebook.


All this being said, my iPhone is within arm's reach on my desk.


So what is the solution to the de-evolution of society due to the advancement of technology? Maybe having a place and time where you dedicate your social media surfing? Maybe keeping it out of the bedroom? Maybe instead of photographing EVERYTHING, we take the occasional mental snap shot?


The picture below is of the Pope's last visit to the USA. I think it absolutely sums up the generations, our technology addiction, and my whole viewpoint on smartphones.


This woman is my spirit animal.



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