Thursday, February 27

MY PHONE--THE ENABLER

  I have long maintained that smart phones are making us dumber. Do you know how many people no longer know their own phone numbers because they don’t have to? I work in a retail pharmacy and have actually have had people have to look their phone number up to verify their prescription.

I remember when it was rite of passage that you learned your name, phone number, and address in elementary school. You didn’t make it out kindergarten or first grade without knowing how to answer those questions. And now adults act like they're be putting out having to know this basic information. I love the excuse, "I never call myself." Well, who does? 

I have a weird memory with an affinity for birthdates and phone numbers. I still remember my high school best friend’s phone number, my grandparents—who have been dead over 20 years—and my great, great aunt’s.  Numbers I haven’t dialed in decades are stuck in my brain.

Too bad I didn’t realize I had this super power while in school, it would have made history and math so much easier.

Smart phones also make it so we don’t have to remember dates—birthdays, anniversaries, appointments. I have co-workers who take pictures of their schedules so they don’t have to manually write them down and they always have a copy at the ready.

But today, I realized that more than stealing memories, my phone is a bad influence on me.

I’ve always been a world-class procrastinator. Now, I’m vying for the gold-medal round in procrastination.

Ideally, I like to think that on my short lunch break that I’ll edit a chapter or right a few paragraphs on a current WIP.  Or on a day off, I’ll leave the house and head to B&N to write away from the distraction of housework, television, and family.

But then I glance at my phone. I can check in on Facebook, Twitter, or email at any time. I can read just one more chapter of whatever book I’m in the middle of on my Kindle app. Or I can try to level up in Candy Crush. Or dive into my newest obsession: Disney’s Hidden Worlds.

Maybe I should leave my phone at home. Or in the car—but then someone might spot it, break into my under-insured little Saturn and I’ll be out repairs and a phone. Maybe I should just visit a hypnotist—do they cure procrastination? How about phone addictions?

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