The Smartness of Our Phones: Blessing or Curse?

Early in the day yesterday I began to dislike the smartness of phones today.  Many people have forgotten how to use their phone simply as a phone.  If something needs an answer quickly, then please make a call rather than sending a text.

I won’t usually stop what I’m doing to check on a text, but if a call comes in I will at least look to see who it is from and answer it if it is someone I know.  To me, a call means important or urgent and a text means chit-chat.

Yet as the day went on I realized how thankful I was for the smartness of my phone.  I don’t have a super-crazy-good phone, but I do have a smart phone.  And the things that it allows me to do are amazing.

Many people argue that smart phones make your life easier, and though I can agree that some apps can help simplify parts of your life I can’t fully get behind the idea that my phone makes my life easier.  Wasn’t it easier when people had to wait for me to check my messages or emails at home before I responded to them?

Though I won’t say my phone makes my life easier I will say that it adds some richness to my life.  I know that seems strange to say that a piece of technology that makes calls and checks emails can add richness, but it did yesterday and it does many days.

Facebook for Family

Between work, my wife’s birthday celebration, and other responsibilities I didn’t get much time with the kids on Friday or Saturday.  I missed my girls.  But thanks to Facebook on my phone I was able to see my girls enjoying themselves.

On Friday they spent the day with their auntie Momo, and one of their adventures was a walk.  Sounds mundane, but the little ones played in leaves along the way and the pictures are awesome.  My sister-in-law is really good at using her phone as a camera to catch so many awesome moments with her nieces.

Our daughters also had their first sleepover at grandpa and mimi’s house on Friday night.  So when Saturday morning came it was nice to not wake up to one daughter crying or the other standing next to our bed, but I still wanted to see my girls.  Thankfully grandpa and mimi each took pictures and posted them to facebook.  It was nice to see that they were having such a great time.

Voice Notes for Big Moments

We’ve been working with our oldest daughter on potty training for a little while now, and though she is pee trained she is not poo trained (yet).  We’ve been trying to figure out the best way to get her to understand that her poo needs to go in the potty too: we’ve tried chocolate, we’ve tried rational reasoning (which usually works for her), and many other things.  Finally yesterday she gave in to us and made a poo on the potty.  She has done it before, but it had been a couple of weeks.

Sadly I wasn’t there to help celebrate the moment, but once it happened I had a text message from my wife alerting me to the goings-on.  I was super excited for my daughter, but stuck at work.  So I recorded a voice note for her and sent it to my wife, so that my daughter could at least hear my excitement for her before I got home and showed her my excitement.

Connecting With and Without

There are so many ways that the smartness of our phones allows us to connect across great distances, to help us feel present or help our presence be felt even when we aren’t there.  But we also need to remember that when we are there the best way to be present is to put the phone away.  Use it to share memories, but build those memories with the people around you and not the phone in your hand.

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