Are we holding the Smartphone, or is the Smartphone holding us?

Let’s go back in time shall we, all the way back to when the first analog cell phone came out. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. When all you had to do was pick up the big head set and dial your number into the handset with buttons the size of your thumbprint. The particularly gargantuan sized phone was bulky but got the job done.

Now let’s jump back to today where the phones are ALMOST the size of a stack of 5 playing cards from a deck. Where you can now do ANYTHING your computer can do on your small thin Smartphone. Smartphone’s have taken over our children and grandchildren’s lives. In fact if you ask them they will tell you that there “life” IS there Smartphone. I came to this realization a few weeks ago when I went to dinner with a group of friends.

Recently my friends and I went out for a nice meal at a relatively high end restaurant. At a certain point before the appetizers had even arrived, as there sipping on their drinks of choice, everyone is on their phones. Sadly I look down to realize that my phone is in my hand as well. As I look at my phone I instinctively unlock it and start to check my Instagram and Facebook.

What are we doing? Did we decide to go to dinner to sit on our phones in a beautiful restaurant, or did we truly want to enjoy each other’s company. I challenged them to each put their phones in the middle of the table face down for the remainder of the dinner. None of us have a child yet, and none of us really have anything urgent going on. We all agreed; mind you one of my friends offered to put his fruity martini in the middle of the table and a $100 bill to be split between us. After some convincing we were all in. After about 2-3 minutes of silence (I’m assuming we were all having the same feeling of texting withdrawals in that moment of silence), we started a wonderful conversation about how cell phones really have taken over our lives. Why should we be texting someone about our day, when there is someone in the room who will listen to your day face to face. Are we more interested in the sensation of texting then we are face to face communication?

This posed an interesting question. As we laughed and enjoyed our libations we realized we just had finished our last course and considered ordering desert (we didn’t by the way, and yes I think at that point we all really wanted to check our phones hehe) we realized we made it without touching our “life line” for over an hour. We proudly asked for the check and left.

I now do this ALL the time during meals with my family and friends. It’s amazing how by the evolution of ONE device all of us use, its also changed the way we all now communicate, almost controlling us. Are we holding the Smartphone, or is the Smartphone holding us?

 

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