August 27, 2013

Put Down Your Phone

There’s a video doing the rounds called I Forgot My Phone which I found very telling about today’s social interactions. Watch it.

My iPhone is always with me. I communicate a lot using the iPhone, almost never utilizing the phone part, but rather through Twitter, App.net or messages. Sometimes I kill time on Tumblr, and I read a lot on my iPhone. In my weakest moment, I might even open the Facebook app.

I don’t watch the world through my phone though. The times I go to a concert, I don’t take a ton of crappy photos or make Vine movies out of every little thing. It ruins the experience, both for me and everybody else. That said, the iPhone is my primary camera, because it’s the one I carry with me.

I write a lot on my iPhone, and I’m not only talking about the novel project. I also take a lot of notes.

The iPhone is a powerful tool, just like most smartphones out there.

However, it’s also addictive. Suddenly you’re not eating unless you’re instagramming, you don’t exist until you check in, and you better refresh your Twitter feed every third second so that you don’t miss out on anything. It’s fascinating how quickly this behavior embedded itself in our spines, making us collectively forget every ounce of our manners.

I’m not perfect, and I’m easily bored. My iPhone’s a savior more often than not. I’ve been that rude douche who picks up his phone and starts fiddling with it while in a conversation at times, something I’m not proud of and try not to do. It’s socially acceptable to a degree that still astounds me.

Don’t throw away your smartphone. Keep reaping the benefits of technology, and by all means don’t stop communicating through the web. But do consider the world outside of your screen, preferably slightly more than how it’d look with your favorite Instagram filter.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.