Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Don't spend your life stuck in your smartphone

Just a minute...

I know, believe me, I know. Your iPhone is so cool -- it has all of these apps! You can find anything on it! There's Yelp and Twitter and Facebook and a million games and even books. Oh, I'm sorry, you have a Blackberry? I bet you love it just as much! It has apps too, and comes in fun colors, and constantly buzzes with emails and texts coming in. I know, it's hard to keep yourself from looking at it every thirty seconds. But HELLO, HI, HII, IT'S ME OVER HERE, ACTUAL PERSON, TRYING TO TALK TO YOU. No, not one of those imaginary people coming from inside of your phone, but a real flesh and blood person right in front of you trying to talk to you. Please, people, don't spend your life stuck in your smartphone.

Look, people. This man was on his iPhone while giving his child a bath. Playing CHESS on his iPhone, okay? Enough is enough. Now, I understand the need to escape from normal life sometimes, and I totally understand loving the ability to catch up on blog reading on Google Reader or play Scrabble with lots of people on your commute. I love my iPhone too. But when you're doing things that could, you know get your children killed, it's time to put the phone away. I've given baths to small children, and they're pretty hilarious, with the splashing and the babbling and the bubbles and the bath toys.

And it's not just when you're doign something dangerous when you need to be detached from the phone. At a dinner party? Out to drinks with friends? Put the phone away and be with people. You know, drink a beer, chat about your day with people instead of just writing messages on their walls, flirt a little, laugh a lot. Aren't those times fun? Isn't that more fun than pulling your phone out of your pocket every 30 seconds to see why it's buzzing, or hitting refresh on that website, or playing WOW?

But you could be missing something! No. No, you're not missing anything except for that cute boy over there who is trying to catch your eye and just gave up, or your friend's funny story about seeing that celebrity fall down. Needing to see Doc Jensen's recap of Lost the moment it goes up, or be FIRST! to comment on that blog, or see the next poetic tweet of Ruth Reichl is a little pathological. (Okay, maybe not that last thing. Did you see her story about the oysters on the snow? Wait, I digress, I blame that short attention span on my iPhone). When you care more about seeing every bit of media that can come by and knowing a tiny little bit about everyone on all of your social networks than your actual friends, soon your only friends will be the people who live inside of your computer.

And also, please, stop being so rude. Didn't anyone teach you manners? Sure, sometimes people are boring, but the thing to do then is politely listen to their story and excuse yourself to get another drink, not ignore them while you check to see who was fugged today. And if these are people that you actually like, it's not a chore to pay attention to them instead of getting your new Foursquare badge. I have been tempted more than once to smack the phone out of someone's hands when it was obvious that they were not just telling another friend of ours where to meet us, but in their own little world. Keep doing that, and I promise, your friends will hate you.

So the next time your friend is telling you that piece of juicy gossip and you just want to pretend that she's a TiVo and press pause while you casually check your email, just stop, think about how you really don't want to be knocked off that barstool by an annoyed friend, and don't do it.

Thanks to Nora for the inspiration. No, she didn't do this, I promise.

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