Real Life vs. The Smart Phone
I remember when I got my smart phone. Up until then, I had a flip phone for several years that I actually enjoyed. It wasn’t fancy, but I didn’t have to worry about the screen cracking, the battery lasted FOREVER, and it had a pretty decent camera.
The day I got my smart phone, I remember standing in the kitchen with the phone in my hand, totally unaware of what had been going on around me for about 15 minutes, checking out all the neat features and gadgets, and catching myself thinking, “Holy cow, I’ve taken myself away from life!” I noticed how I blocked out everything around me and was in a tunnel vision-like trance. I had noticed teenagers who were glued to these little screens, and wondered how can they live their lives like zombies? But I understood now. The information about any topic you want, the pictures of anyone, everyone, and everywhere all available with a press of the finger. I could sit for hours and not care that time was ticking away! But it was so new to me, that I noticed myself becoming disengaged from my life, from my family, and from the dinner I was supposed to be making. I vowed in my head that I wouldn’t let this fancy phone distract me from being engaged with the things that matter the most.
As I think about that, I also think about young people who get phones at such an early age, who are just beginning to experience life, and don’t even realize they are disconnecting themselves from it! They don’t know any better, and what’s sad is that many of these children are not limited in the time they spend on it.
The other day my husband and I were talking about actually giving up the smart phone. What?! Who does that in an ever upgrading world? Who would ever want to go back to a basic flip phone temporarily?
Still not fully on that bandwagon with both cheeks, but I’m thinking about it. It wouldn’t hurt me. Why? Mostly time and money. The most time I spend on my phone is scrolling through Instagram, snap chatting my kids, and googling something every now and then. I don’t check my email, I don’t get Facebook notifications, plus, to downgrade our plan to the basic phone plan, with no data, would be a considerable savings if you crunch the numbers over a year. Of course, this would only be temporary, until we paid off the house. The one thing that would be THE hardest to give up would be snap chatting my children. THAT I love.
Oh wait a minute, here’s a snap from my oldest right now…Oh looky here! She just saw her brother in the newspaper! Aww… (See what I mean…..??)
In the last Priesthood session of General Conference, Elder Randall L. Ridd reminded us to “Be where you are when you are there. When you are driving, drive. When you are in class, focus on the lesson. When you are with your friends, give them the gift of your attention. Your brain cannot concentrate on two things at once. Multitasking amounts to quickly shifting your focus from one thing to another. An old proverb says, “If you chase two rabbits, you won’t catch either one.”
Really, in my opinion, it’s all about awareness. Being aware of the time we spend on our phones vs. the time we spend in real life. Being aware of the example we are setting for our kids. Being aware of the things in life that deserve our attention. Being aware of what we are letting slip by. So in the ever increasing battle of Real Life vs The Smart Phone, I pick Real Life!!! And as long as I have control, I will “help” my kids pick Real Life as well!
Truthfully I probably won’t go back to my old flip phone, but I am very serious about simplifying my life and not “losing my life” to all that technology has to offer, and neglecting the things that really matter to me.
This video has a lot of truth in it.