Put Your Smartphone Down!

Most of us have a smartphone and most of us use this handheld device as a life support machine. Whilst walking outside with a friend recently the conversation of the weather came up and she remarked, “I wonder what the weather will be like today?” Instinctively like a ninja I whipped out my phone to check the weather… while I was already IN the fucking weather! That my friends is not only stupidity at its finest… but a clear sign that I’m a dickhead and use my iPhone way too much.

It’s like a sickness! Social gatherings are dominated by the iPhone whether you need to show a hilarious video of a cat twerking in a tutu, or to totally dominate a pub quiz by cheating… or to simply refresh your fucking Facebook page to check that your life is still better than everyone else’s. How about you get off Facebook and actually live the life you like to boast about?! Nah… I would rather stalk friends of friends and have a near heart attack when my fat fingers ‘like’ a photo album of their nieces christening!

I got my first iPhone about 4/5 years ago as a fluke upgrade after threatening to leave the network, as I clearly could never afford it otherwise. Back when it wasn’t a generic model and saturated the mobile phone market like today. So I barely used it as much as I could because the people I communicated with were still rocking Nokia 3210’s circa 1999! I know… Imagine! For me it was rather cumbersome and I didn’t buy into the hype of it being the holy grail of new technology. These were quieter more civilised times where table tops in restaurants were not littered with iPhones, when checking into a hotel wasn’t all about passive aggressive demands for WIFI passwords… and when the thought of taking pics of your food was a ridiculous notion.

What is wrong with us?! Why are we unable to function without the backup of I would say inanimate object… but Siri doubles up as a close friend and confidante when I’m feeling lonely. I went to a visit friends the other week to watch a fabulous old skool Goldie Hawn movie. However most of the ‘watching’ was taken over with fruitless (albeit highly amusing!) chat after using our phones to Wikipedia the fuck outta stuff like the year of the movie, her age and accidently clicking the ‘external links’ button which leads to a black hole of equally pointless shit!

Sometimes I do like to exercise restraint with my phone. Like leaving it in my bedroom when I have a shower… to then sprint naked across the room to a blank screen of no messages or missed calls... not even from a fraudulent insurance company asking me if I have been in a car accident recently. Or sometimes I leave it at home when I go to the shops… to then have a panic attack if I was abducted or stolen away and I didn’t have a phone to live tweet the whole traumatic experience.

Being on the phone constantly when in the presence of friends is kinda rude. It signals that you would rather be elsewhere, which is a kick in the teeth to your buddy. Unless you’re both of the understanding that Buzzfeed and Heatworld takes priority in your friendship… then work away! However there are social rules to be adhered to… For example at a dinner table you will put that shit away! Enjoy the company of who you are with and not who just kicked outta the Big Brother house. When paying your respects at your grandma’s funeral you will not take a selfie with the open casket in the background. (This actually happened… not with me! I at least would’ve given it a few days before I made it my Facebook profile pic!)

I have calmed down somewhat with the usage of my iPhone. Especially after I was wounded with a heavy 300 quid phone bill on a holiday recently. Those amazingly inappropriate drunken texts to my nearest and dearest are not so funny now hey! But I don’t understand why there just isn’t free WIFI everywhere?! Like it offends me when I can’t use someone else’s internet connection to Instagram my feet on a beach.

Alas it is rather sad how we rely so heavily on the programmed logic in a phone to work through 24 hours of our day. Sometimes I think we use our phones because there’s a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out!) You feel disconnected from the world if you’re not online. Sometimes some of us are under the illusion that people give a shit about our lives so need to make themselves known. And sometimes it’s just like a habit… like crack cocaine. Smartphones are integrated into our society whether we like it or not. I saw a dude use his iPhone to board a plane the other day and I stared in disbelief like it was some new shit outta Back to the Future!

I guess using your phone is all about common sense. Don’t get caught up in the madness of it all. Granted Google Maps on my iPhone has saved my ass on numerous occasions… and one bus trip without listening to my music on my phone fills my head with suicidal thoughts… BUT keep it real! Life will go on. It did way before you turned into a smartphone junkie.

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