Are SmartPhones ruining our well-being?

Ok, so maybe I’m being dramatic. But let me explain why I believe this is a true phenomenon.

Before smartphones, there were Nokia brick phones. Before that, there was this crazy thing called a landline, which  “OH MY GOD YOU DISCONNECTED ME FROM AOL” probably resonates with the peers of my generation.

The smartphone is great. It can take photos, send instant texts, find you a dry cleaners or a high end gourmet restaurant, bake a cake, install Apps where you can fling birds into pillars knocking over pigs, get you on Facebook immediately, play some tunes.

Yeah.

So I lost my iPhone (file under not shocking) in a cab. This was not after a night out. (File UNDER shocking,) I had a hectic day at work and the always attentive, detail-oriented me, left my iPhone in a cab in a flurry.

I went to the Verizon store, surprised they didn’t recognize my face, and said, “Hey…..lost the iPhone in a cab. What’s my option here?”

“Well…you can wait the three days for the insurance to get you a new one or purchase a replacement in the meantime for very little.” As I shrugged off my panic attack of not having a phone, I decided to purchase a bare bones flip phone. Anything that would keep me in contact with the world.

Let me tell you, I loved Flippy. (That was the name I gave him, the poor little soul.) You know why?

-I didn’t obsessively check my email every 12 seconds.

-I didn’t obsessively check my Facebook to see what everyone in my life was doing to inevitably every 14 seconds think my day was more boring. Flippy would have exploded trying to add Facebook.

-I wasn’t able to see when people read my texts. Call me a nut job, but it eased the paranoia.

-I wasn’t distracted by (really, really fun, hurts my heart to think about it) apps that stopped me from talking to actual people and having social relationships. While you’re talking to them rather trying to dominate a game that consists of small objects definitely that have made my vision worse and caused an addiction to small shiny things on a screen, you should be getting to know them.

-I lost a lot of phone numbers. Of people that needed to be lost.  (Yeah, yeah, you can get them back through the iTunes sync, but my refurbished phone doesn’t want to do so. Maybe a good thing.)

-I couldn’t take pictures of fun things and make commentary that often was, okay, a little snarky. I did miss taking pictures of random crap. (Minus my godson, he is an exception.)

-I could walk around looking like some cool chick that was just way too good for a smartphone. Like, trendsetter. In the house. Who is probably wearing white socks underneath her boots.

-I had to socialize with people at events rather than tisk-tisk-tisk away on my phone like I was really important.  You actually meet great people, go figure! It was less like….”Hi…..” (Flip phone back over and tuck in purse)…awkward pause….”So….how are you? How’s that….thing….going?” (No room to pretend you are texting someone important, like a client, when it’s really you asking your mom if a package you ordered came to your home stomping grounds since you’re never there to pick it up. And the package is face cream and a knee pillow for your bad back. Not something exciting.)

I love my iPhone. I won’t lie. It’s wonderful. However, I felt liberated being free from it. I felt some relief.  Yet, texting “Hi, how are you” consisting of 59 key punches was a bit of a difference from my usual awkward two thumb text. But, it was worth it. Because, if I spent the time to send this to you, you actually were important! Not a “OMG HEY HOW ARE YOU?” Which, I am totally, totally, guilty of. Doing a lot.

I think, in my ever so philosophical terms, put down your phone, hug your people that are close to you, go TALK to them and don’t text them when you’re in the other room. Let’s get back to human contact. Check your emails reasonably. Worry less about who checked in where on Facebook. Even though I did this tonight, which proves my point.. Hence, my missing of Flippy.  Flippy, come back. I miss you and your ways.

Filed under: technology, Uncategorized

Tags: iphone, smartphone

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    Amy Litterski DeSario

    Born in Chicago. Probably not leaving any time soon. 30-something. Married to this guy I met 14 years ago at a Northwest side block party. Have a wacky, adorable dog. University of Illinois alum. I've loved to write since age 4. I enjoy coffee and hot sauce too much. You can reach me at scribblingofthoughts@gmail.com.

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