You may have noticed that many people today have things plugged into them, or they’re plugged into things, as the case may be. You’ve seen them. The guy crossing the street with earplugs in his ears, and maybe texting at the same time. You may even notice that when you get together with friends or family, that one or more of them may have a smart phone and a tablet or small laptop with them, and, in some cases, they may insist on texting or typing away on the tablet while they’re talking to you!
And of course, we’ve seen the commercials showing the dangers of texting while driving and the foolishness that can result when texting and walking, like the person shown falling into the fountain.
And, I’ve heard at least two commentators say that, in essence, we should not let technology take over our lives completely and stop us from interacting with one another. And they’re right.
Now, this is not completely new. It may have started somewhat with the invention of the telegraph, then was made significantly more so with the invention of the telephone, which brought ‘non-face-to-face’ communication to the masses. But, with the advent of cell phones and computers, and related software and hardware it is getting more obvious today.
I’m not saying that all of the new technology is bad and I could never be a technophobe. But I do believe in taking a look at both edges of the double edge sword that technology, as well as just about everything else, is, before jumping in. Also, there is the fact that new technology in general is at its most bug ridden, expensive, and least capable, when it first comes out and everybody ‘wants one’. But that is a different subject.
For me, while I like new technology in general, especially for what it can do for me, I do hold off in many cases, for a number of reasons. When cell phones came out, they were big and just added another thing I would have to carry on me. And, in addition, I didn’t always want to be reachable. (Read, “bothered”).
But, with my dad’s urging, we both got cell phones. And, I’ve come to see where they can be helpful. And, they’ve gotten a lot smaller and lighter and their battery life has greatly improved. I now feel naked if I go out without my phone. However, regarding cell phones, some things I haven’t felt a need to jump into or add. For instance, while my phone can do a lot more than my first phone could, it’s not a smart phone, and I don’t feel the need for one. I can text with my phone, but I really see no need to use texting, when I can call and leave a voice message, or talk directly to a person. So, I’m not a ‘texter’. As a matter of fact, if someone I know sends me a text, I often call them instead of replying to the text. It’s just faster and easier for me. Also, I do take safety into account. If I’m driving, I don’t answer the phone without a bluetooth hands free device, and even then, I will pull over first to a safe area. If I can’t answer the call, my voice mail will pick it up. After all, that’s what it’s for!
And of course, I don’t make calls when I’m with other people unless it’s for the whole group, such as calling to see why one of our group is late or checking on the time that a movie is going to start that we all want to go to. And I will often turn my phone off during these occasions, only turning it on to check my voice mail later on. And of course, my phone is always off during movies, plays, performances, or interviews and similar situations.
If you want to get another opinion supporting the idea of not upgrading to a Smart Phone, click on this link here below:
As for always being connected? Well, I do distribute flyers door to door and I’m by myself most of this time, so I do use my mp3 player, which is filled with music of my choosing, as well as having an fm radio. But, I’m alone during this time, so no one else could be offended because I’m not paying attention to them. Also, my headphones are not the noise cancelling type so I do hear things around me, including cars and my cell phone ringing.
And even then, I will often turn off my mp3 player and take the headphones off, just to hear the world around me, which I do think is vital from time to time.
My computers? I have two of them. And I’m not on them all the time, nor do I feel the need to check my e-mail every 15 minutes.
So, I guess the message here is, disconnect a little! When you’re with friends or family at dinner, take off those headphones and stop texting! Interact with the people who are with you! And by all means, make sure your kids do the same! They won’t die if they are disconnected from their smartphones for an hour. Trust me. Real life is worth it!
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