The ‘curse’ of the smartphone

Two months ago, I joined the 21st century. The keys on my trusty Nokia phone (which, at 14 years and counting, could be described as a senior citizen) began to freeze. One key went first and then another one. It made texting very difficult when I couldn’t use the most commonly used letter in the English alphabet (e, if you’re curious). Gradually all the others followed suit, in a kind of arthritic surrender. My phone switched on and off with no problem, but without the use of its keys, it was nothing more than a useless relic. Thus,Ā I succumbed to the thing I have been resisting: I bought a smartphone.

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Everywhere you go, you see people glued to their phones. A few years ago, phones were functional: you could make calls and send texts and that was the limit of their capabilities. Does anyone remember the game, Snake? I used to enjoy playing that! But that’sĀ so old-fashioned now, when today’s phones are all-singing, all-dancing pieces of technology.

In class, it is standard for people to pull out their notebooks and pens, followed by their smartphones, which they place on their desks as though they are a life-giving force to which they need to be permanently connected. One thing that really bugs me about smartphone use is when I’m talking to someone and they are staring at their phone. Whatever happened to manners? Put your phone away!

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Since purchasing my smartphone, I have made a conscious effort not to become somebody who stares at their phone all the time. It can be tempting to check it when I hear the ping of my email alert, letting me know that another message has landed in my inbox, but when I’m busy working at home, I leave it upstairs and out of earshot. Admittedly, despite my reluctance to get a smartphone, it has its uses. I like the to-do list app I downloaded because it allows me to stay uber-organized. But I won’t relinquish my Filofax anytime soon! Technology is useful but not when it becomes something from which we can’t tear ourselves away.

In the wise words of Steven Spielberg:

“Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone”.

What do you think? Are smartphones the source of a modern-day affliction or do you love your phone?

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14 thoughts on “The ‘curse’ of the smartphone

  1. I also have issues with people looking at their phones when I’m talking to them. It’s even worse when I make a conscious effort to meet someone I don’t normally see and their phone still gets priority over a real person who they haven’t seen in a while. Oftentimes I’ll leave my phone at home if I’m just going out for a quick meal with my family and my sisters just look at me like I’m crazy when I say that I don’t have my phone (they are both definitely of the phone-glued-to-hand community).

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    • Yeah, it’s an irritating habit! Smartphones seem to have a way of sucking people in…. They are useful and fun, but I think they require discipline!

      It’s nice to hear from you, Lillian. šŸ™‚ I was just thinking that I hadn’t seen any new posts from you for a while.

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      • I know, the writing thing has been on the back burner for a while but it’s been on my mind! Lots of things happening lately but hopefully a new post will go up very soon. Always good to catch up with you and thank you for thinking of me! šŸ™‚

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  2. I couldn’t agree more with everything you said! I keep my phone on silent at all times (except when I’m expecting an important call) so I don’t get distracted by texts/emails/calls constantly. It is definitely easy to let phones take over our lives. I’m jealous you’ve resisted the pull for so long!. I totally remember and LOVED the game snake! Also, I really like the quote!

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  3. As an old fogy, I am not find of phones or being attached to one. I enjoy using mine to take photos and keep up with work emails when outside of my home office, but nothing on your phone is THAT interesting when you are supposed to be a social setting.

    Liked by 1 person

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