What would happen if we took all the phones away?
I watched a short piece on the news last night. It is an ongoing financial bit they run most every night. This particular segment warned us against filing our taxes on our phones. He explained that we did everything else on our phones, but to file our taxes was simply not a good idea. For a lot of reasons.
I think we do a lot of things on our phones that are not good ideas. Of course, the one that has caused so many people their lives is texting and driving. But even still, people can’t get it through their thick skulls on this one. I see it all the time.
Texting anyone, anywhere, has become the norm. Even if we are in the midst of having a conversation with a live human being. Sitting right there before you. This, has become the norm. Living vicariously through our Emoticons, it would seem.
There is online banking, and pizza ordering. Minecrafting and Roller Splatting. Reading news, writing notes, finding facts, checking our calendars, and paying for stuff. All on our phones.
Emailing, Meditation, Navigation, Social Media, and Entertainment. All. Right there at our fingertips. On our phones.
The cameras are always rolling too. If someone is getting beat to death on the street, there are 20 people standing around with cameras in hand, filming the thing. I wonder what ever happened to the days when people helped. Or even stopped to dial the police.
But the cameras. They are everywhere in everything. I got my Bachelors degree in Photography several years back. The diploma was dropped in my hand about the same day that phones started getting higher resolution cameras. The largest portion of the world’s population became professional photographers, in a blink.
In all of this, I am guilty. I take part in all the wonderful magic tricks available to us on our phones. It is easy, convenient, fast. I can plan a trip to Charleston, SC, find the best route, figure out the weather, book the flight, hotel, and the restaurants, write my friends, and block out my calendar. The only thing I have to do is make my body go. Once it does, and while it waits on a plane, train, or automobile, I have plenty of games and books to keep me busy.
The phone is really a glorious thing.
But sometimes we overdo it.
The Smart Phone was born, and a large portion of society got stupid.
I’m most intrigued with the self-absorbed. There is nothing wrong with a good old selfie from time to time. We all love to see one another and our good smiling faces. But some people are on selfie-overload. Everyday, fifteen times a day, we see them drinking coffee, working out, tying their shoes, being good citizens, watching a movie, driving a car, and on. In small doses, it can be completely fun and charming. But there are those who put it on steroids, and it becomes a hulk-ish beast. I turn a lot of those awesome, amazing, shiny people off.
And finally, there are the ones who do those weird things to their faces with a photo app. I guess it is supposed to make them look more beautiful. But to me, they resemble the few Aliens I’ve met, dropped freshly off, from the planet Xolmalar.
It is quite a bit, I know. I should ease up. I have a case of the Curmudgeons today. But I read this morning that this is an anniversary for Alexander Graham Bell. On this day, 143 years ago, he received a patent for the telephone.
Hard to believe, isn’t it? How far it has come?
The phone stayed relatively the same for most of those years. It has only been in the past 20, or so, that we’ve made such big leaps.
And, today, if you ask a kid about Alexander Graham Bell, they will probably say, “I think I swiped left on him.”
“One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
“Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools.”
― Philip K. Dick, Beyond Lies the Wub
“I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me, you’d better go”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned