Month of Thanks Giving: Day 12 (Smartphones)

Is it possible to be thankful something exists on one hand, and on the other hand wish it didn’t exist? I’m really thankful it didn’t exist when my kids were teenagers.

That’s how I feel about smartphones. (As I typed the title, I wondered what we would have thought about the word “smartphone” in the 1970s.)

There’s no denying I love my smartphone. It’s my link to family and friends. It’s a camera. It’s a writing tablet. It’s a library. It’s a map. It’s an encyclopedia. It’s a movie theater.

I’m pretty much ashamed to admit it’s practically a part of my body. In other words, when I don’t have it, I feel like a limb is missing.

And that’s the reason I wish it didn’t exist. I don’t like seeing groups of people sitting together, all looking at their cell phones. It’s worse when it’s a couple basking in the glow of their cell phones rather than candlelight. Worst of all is when I see toddlers mesmerized by a smartphone or iPad as a babysitter.

I don’t mean to judge. I may have done the same thing had these “toys” been available when my kids were little, but I hope not. I’ve certainly been guilty of paying too much attention to my cell phone when I’m with friends or family, though I’ve been making a conscious effort to ignore my phone when I’m with people and pay attention to real communication and not virtual communication.

Thank goodness smartphones didn’t exist when my kids were teenagers. In a discussion of the recent story on teen sexting, I heard the following quote on CNN. (Sorry, I didn’t catch the person’s name.)

Teens are going to self expose before they self reflect.

We’ve all done stupid things in our lives. Thankfully, smartphones and social media didn’t exist when my kids were at an age where they didn’t understand the consequences of sharing too much.

But, to close on a positive note, here are a few photos I’ve taken with my smartphone. I love having it with me to capture moments–what an amazing device it is!

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It’s a great way for me to capture ideas for art and writing, too!

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4 Responses to Month of Thanks Giving: Day 12 (Smartphones)

  1. Jan, I feel the same dichotomy daily. A smartphone, like so much else in life, needs us to manage and control it, use it for good, rather than falling victim to it all-consuming lure. It’s an ongoing battle, but one worth striving to win, I think. 🙂

    janet

  2. Like you and Janet, I feel the same thing. Love/hate the thing. I am thankful we have no signal here at home, though, so that offers at least a half break from the incessant presence. I remember how much I hated it when I first got it because work required me to have one.

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