The question of the day might be, which word seems the most out of place in the following sentence, “Excuse me, I need to check my phone”? Want to guess? One clue, it is not “I need to check my phone”. Hmmm.
Texting, email, and a full range social media stand just beyond the smart phone WiFi connection. Communication with the world or just down the street, or in some case, just across the table are instantly available. The future is with us now.
There are perils, however, when good judgement is not exercised. Texting and driving is dangerous and a “no-no” in most States. “Sexting”, while adventuresome, too often leads to social or civil penalties for the sex-ter. Auto accidents and people walking into walls are also well known for the person who has become immersed in cell phone use while also trying to live their normal lives.
It is now very common to see a young couple dining at a fancy restaurant and both being deeply immersed in their cell phone world. So much for ambiance.
Have you noticed the person who picks up their phone, reads something, and then furiously thumbs back a reply? What could be so urgent that an instant reply is needed? And, has anyone thought about the consequences of replies without consideration?
Of course there is discourse where immediate access and response is valuable. Think about an accident, or notification that school has let out early, or the need to update the grocery list while one is in the store are obvious examples. But, how many times a day is that necessary?
Recently there have been a number of media reports about Americans being hooked on their smart phone. They have cited examples of people checking their cell phone over 100 times a day. Hmmm.
These reports also claim there is an app which catalogues a user’s daily phone access. Experts suggest this is a way to control overuse. Hmmm.
I would suggest something even simpler. Before one slides the magic bar and checks for new emails or texts, one looks around and says to whomever is present, “Excuse me, I need to check my phone”. Psychologists tell us that by calling attention to our obsessions, we can help manage their control of our well being. Hmmm.