Living in the now
It’s hard knowing you might not be the number one love in your husband’s life. For me, there’s no way to compete. My husband’s significant other-other is always there for him, has the answers to any question, knows the latest news, sports scores and gossip, and I have to admit, she always looks sleek, compact and attractive. Maybe I shouldn’t have been annoyed about the time I brought the kids in to say goodnight, and he didn’t even look up, but just waved goodbye, because he was so engrossed with the object of his affection.
So I have to concede defeat to the iPhone – she wins. I have a feeling she, and the other smartphones of her type, will steal hearts and minds everywhere in their never-ending quest for world domination, until everyone is totally, hopelessly enslaved. It’s a bit like a horror film where people are infected with some virus that makes them mindless zombies, while a small group of survivors cling to their humanity.
My husband once asked me to take his phone away for the evening, because he couldn’t put it down. Within 15 minutes, he was in the kitchen, patting me down with a desperate look on his face as he tried to find the phone. No wonder the addiction spawned the term ‘Crackberry.’
From time to time, I will see a group of younger people hanging out, with their heads down, all checking their phones. It always strikes me as strange that instead of connecting with each other, they’d rather text someone else far away. Personally, I can’t stand it when I’m talking to someone and they are looking at their phone instead – I might be wrong, but it feels as though the implicit message is “You’re not as important as this tweet from this guy in Timbuktu.”
My husband might be right when he says I just have to get with the program, get a phone and join the 21st century. Not having a cell phone is increasingly a real handicap and inconvenience, but I know that if I were to get one, I too would become totally addicted – and would probably lose it or break it within a month. The other part of me knows that I spend too much time as it is behind a screen, whether it’s at home or work, and it’s still important to me, as old-fashioned as I am, to connect with life as it’s happening.
A colleague from work was talking about phones and how sometimes, they keep us from living in the moment. We have all this information to absorb, this constant stream of digital text and pictures and in the midst of that, we’ve partly forgotten how to slow down, to spend time with friends and family and focus on them without looking for extra stimulation. I’m certainly as guilty of that as anyone.
But there are times, when I’m outside taking a walk with the kids - and we are taking our time going on a hunt for magic crystals or some other adventure game where I have to be Captain Barnacle or Dora the Explorer – that I am conscious we are using our own minds and creativity for entertainment. At those times, lazy and slow as they are, I am grateful to be living in this beautiful and precious moment with them rather than allowing a phone - social media, texts or work emails - distract me.
I do have to give credit to smartphones; I’m awed and respectful of their capability and their intuitiveness, so straightforward that even a three-year-old can use them to type, take pictures or play games. I’m sure Alexander Graham Bell had no idea how revolutionary the technology would get surrounding his invention and how central they have become to our life and how much they allow us to accomplish.
But even my awe and respect are not going to stop me from throwing my husband’s phone into the depths of St. Vincent Lake if she keeps on stealing my thunder.
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