(I’ve decided to try something a little different with this post, and am responding to a weekly writing challenge. This post may be the first of many – hope my regular readers like the change of pace…)
Ah, sweet relief, I just submitted my last grades of the semester! Welcome, summer. What do I do first? Why I pull out my smartphone of course, to check the weather, check my messages, and decide whether to fire up the actual email program on my computer.
- Messages – checked and answered (Mom and Dad are having a great time on the coast!).
- Weather – checked and confirmed with an outside glance: looks like summer isn’t quite ready for me, here in the northwest, it is sunny…but I am wearing a sweater too.
- Email – checked, and yes, answered on the computer (that auto-correct on my iPhone makes for some interesting exchanges! When it’s work related I need a real keyboard).
This week’s writing challenge from The Daily Post is all about what our little phones have done to us. Do we love to hate them? Can we live without them? How do I answer these questions? YES and NO, as it turns out. I admit that I find myself fiddling with my phone a little too much when I am not in the limelight at work (that is, when I am not teaching). I leave it out on my desk so I can see if any little messages pop up, I keep it handy at home and check things while cooking, playing with my daughter, or talking with my husband after work. It’s a slippery slope, all that constant contact. I find that I have to monitor myself so as not to glance more at the phone than at my lovely, precocious 6-year-old. I leave it in the other room during dinner, but find my mind wandering towards it as conversation lulls at the table. I keep it by the side of the bed and check messages in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep (like that’s really going to help!), and use it for an alarm in the morning, and, and, and, and….if I let it, it would take over my life. So I love to hate it. I’ve been irresponsible with it. But mostly, I keep it in check.
On balance though, I love the little device that my daughter has dubbed my “little go everywhere phone.” I do my best to let it enhance my connections rather than detract from them. I live about 350 miles south of my immediate family, but my folks and two of my sibs have “little go everywhere phones” too (the third has one for work, alas, but not home life!), as do my sisters-in-law on the opposite side of the country, and that, in effect has caused the gap amongst us all to shrink. When we celebrate holidays apart, we send pictures and notes to each other all day long, creating a multi-user photo-diary of the day – it’s great fun! Holiday happiness at home, and shared with extended family too! Win-win. When we travel, we keep each other in the virtual loop, sometimes teasingly so (my older brother can pull one over on me both in person and virtually! Turns out the pool wasn’t closed after all…), other times it’s delightfully sincere (with the phone, I found the restaurant – hooray! — as without the phone, I am most assuredly directionally challenged!). Snap-n-sending pictures, sharing a penny’s worth of thoughts, and using these devices other little features can make a good day great.
My husband has a knack for finding handy apps too. He’s miraculously connected our phones, the home TV, and the home computer all together and there’s a remote app on my little phone. With that app I can turn music on in the living room when I am in the kitchen. How cool is that? My daughter can operate it too – you can easily imagine what happens when we disagree on the music. Anyone can change it with a swipe and a tap. Battle of the bands, indeed. When away from home, with the book reading app, I am not at a loss if I forget my Kindle – I’ve got books right there at my finger tips too. And never mind the fun that can be had with the photo apps. For these reasons, I LOVE my little go everywhere phone. My little go everywhere phone has flair too – it’s currently sporting a little matryoshka doll wrap that brings a smile to my face whenever I see it (I found one for my Kindle too – oh, what fun, they match!).
Of course there can be a diminishing return to the happiness though. But that’s true of all things, not just the latest technological advancement. To my mind then, the gap is just a little smaller when my phone’s in my pocket, and that’s a good thing, to me.
- The challenge itself: Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap (dailypost.wordpress.com)
- An example of another blogger’s response: Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind The Gap (suzie81.wordpress.com)
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