Do you ever miss the simpler days? The days when you went somewhere, and really went there. There was no connection to anyplace other than where you were, the only connections made were with the people you were surrounded by. There were no apps to scroll through or games to play when you were bored. There was no texting, if you needed someone, you called them, and you called them when you got home, because there was no phone attached to your fingertips.
Do you remember having conversations with the people you were with, including complete strangers? I remember this time, and I remember that people looked each other in the eye and smiled at one another way more often than they do now. It was really different than how life is now. I remember these days, and I miss them.
Today while getting a rare manicure and pedicure, I realized that not only me, but every other person in the nail salon was attached to their phone. I was trying to catch up on my Bible reading plan, which obviously wasn’t a bad thing to be doing or a waste of time. However, once it dawned on me just what I and the rest of the world have become, it was hard for me to keep comprehending the words I was reading. I felt like God was laying it on my heart to share this message, “Smartphones Are Making Us Dumb”
Dumb defined is a person unable to speak because of congenital deafness. Congenital means from birth or by a firmly established habit. This bit of information is unnerving to me. What does our future look like when our babies are being born into an environment where people no longer speak to each other while in public? I’m sincerely scared, and I think you should be to.
Seriously, stop and think about the last time you were out alone and struck up a genuine conversation with a stranger nearby. Are you starting to remember that we used to talk to people while waiting to be seen at doctors offices, while traveling on airplanes and buses, and even on elevators. Next time your in any of these places, just put your phone down and take a look around. I’m willing to bet AT LEAST one person has their nose down in their phone. Not to mention, none of these people are using their phones to do what the telephone was created to do…TALK to people! Alexander Graham Bell is most likely rolling in his grave at what his invention has become!
People, this is what our babies are being born into! These are the social norms they are learning! I’m as guilty as you are. My 2.5 year old can work my iPhone as well as I can, and though he’s not a strong speaker, he can definitely utter the words “I want my iPhone”. My 9 month old, well she’s already excited any time she can get her hands on my phone. I know my babies aren’t the only babies who already have a love for the phone. I see it all around us when we’re out in public, babies noses pointed down at a phone instead of taking in what surrounds them. I know it’s not “good” to give my child my phone so he behaves while we’re out, but seeing others doing it too seems to justify it for me. No lies, it works too! I joke with our parents and grandparents that our parenting job is so much easier than theirs because we have iPhones to help us. It’s true, but I can’t help but wonder if that help in the moment is causing hurt for the future.
I’m not saying technology is a bad thing, by all means, it’s doing far more good in our world than bad, but I do think we are in a bit of a technology overload. Yes, sometimes it’s helpful to have the world wide web at our fingertips, but is it really necessary? I urge you to put down your phone, log out of your apps and be present in the moment. Enjoy the company that is before you, known or unknown.
I wish I could end this post with some insightful story recalling the interesting conversation I had with my nail technician or the woman getting a pedicure next to me. It would be a lot better ending to this blog than admitting I didn’t take my nose out of my phone either. I can’t go back and have a conversation that I missed the chance to have, however, I can put down my phone and have conversations in the future, just as it was in the past.
Be blessed, be encouraged, be present!