Forgive me for being in the dark ages. Me and my flip phone were doing just fine. It fit discretely in my pocket or the pocket of my purse, and has long been my security blanket for imaginary emergencies and last minute change in plans. Facebook, emailing, writing and the world wide web were all patiently waiting for me whenever I sat down at my desk. I was content.
And then it happened. My partner in our mutual “smart phone resistance” caved. My husband —with a push from our son — unexpectedly gave up the tiny, 14-year-old flip phone that had fit so perfectly in his shirt pocket. He refused, in fact, to wear any shirt that didn’t have a breast pocket.
I was excited when he came home with this surprise. Believe me, I was. This meant we were no longer dinosaurs. And I love his hour-by-hour weather report every morning — no need to water today because the rain arrives by 6:00 tonight. However, I relied on our coffee tete-t-tetes every morning… to kibitz and plan and maybe ruminate. And now they’re sometimes interrupted by a quick check of the news, the market… the weather. The transformation was immediate.
This isn’t a rant against smartphones, although it could be. I’m resisting the urge to talk about noses and necks bent toward your toes all the time. Crossing the street with your eyes pointed down can get you killed, after all. I get it, I really do. Who can resist with the world at your fingertips. The instant there’s a question, your pocket has the answer. There is no more “wondering”.
That last sentence triggered a distant memory of the Encyclopedia Salesman that sat at our kitchen table trying to sell us on the wonder of owning our very own set of Encyclopedia Britannica. Isn’t your child worth a mere $1400? Wow, that was an occupation?
The thing I’m worried about is human voice conversation and how my passion for it is being challenged. The quickest way to end a gabfest is to look down at your phone. There’s that moment in conversation when you hear a “ping” from a pocket and you know it’s over. Even if their mouth is still moving, you know they’re dying to look at that screen. The little flinch gives it away, and you can’t disguise diverting eyes. I’m always thrilled when the person facing me is actually paying attention because I’m a people person, after all.
I write a lot about change and how we should all embrace it. Ha. Guilty as charged. I know the best strategy for this frustration is to get my own little addiction in an if-you-can’t-beat-‘em-join-‘em kind of way, so…… next week, I swear. Resistance is futile.
Weeded out this week: The dusty past. Living in it gets you nowhere!