I remember not only not having a cell phone, but also not even having an answering machine! I suppose this sounds old fashioned or just plain "old" and I get that technology keeps evolving and that's a good thing, however ... sometimes we need to pause, take a breath and re-evaluate.
Occasionally, I've stepped out the door without my phone. At first, panic hits me, but then, it's replaced by a sense of relief although I still feel like I should advise everyone that I am out and about and I am not tethered -- almost like being in public with no underwear! It feels like pure freedom.
Without the distraction of incoming calls (many of which I do not answer) or the urge to check email, messages or social media, I am reminded that there is a world trying to get my attention in real time. I find myself more open to having conversations with complete strangers. I notice that I am paying more attention to my own responses and reactions. In fact, I am taking in new sights, sounds and information that get lost when my phone rings, buzzes, whistles, barks or plays the aria from Madame Butterfly (one of my alarms).
I've observed people, in restaurants for example, looking at their cell phones, texting and utterly distracted. It's as if there is no other person sitting in front of them. I've also noticed that people are infrequently having conversations with each other. Instead, they are sending a message "to" or "at" someone. It feels like we are losing the art of dialogue and connection, especially when texts leave open a huge opportunity for misunderstanding and misinterpretation.
Have we become so connected that we are actually disconnected as my Monday Quote (MQ) asked? On the one hand, almost anyone can reach us at almost any time, unless we choose to shut off our phones for part of the day or night. Is there a cost to this availability? Are we accessible to everyone else, yet losing our relationship with ourselves?
I believe these are important questions to ask ourselves. Is there a dark side to advanced technology? There might be and it doesn't mean that I think everyone should get rid of their "smart" phone. I think we just need to adjust to technological advancements, use and appreciate the aspects that serve us well and be aware of what doesn't support us. This is what I wish for you.