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Smart Phone Junkies

It started off as “no cell phone sunday” when I would leave the phone at home and go out and explore the world.  It was a social experiment that turned into a philosophy.  Months later, I deleted Facebook.  Actually, I just disabled it, because the truth is I don’t despise it completely.  It connected me with some friends and I can’t think think of a better way to stay connected.  My alternative would be to keep a list of phone numbers and emails, but those change.  Also, I tend to lose my phone every few years, resulting in me losing all my contacts.  Some backup systems have helped, I think Google backs up my contacts somehow, but I just don”t take the time to figure out a system.  Thankfully, we have the cloud.  Technology will provide a solution.

The reason I stay off social media in general is that I don’t like the idea of being completely exposed online, and also the idea that I have to watch what I say because I might offend someone.  It’s way too easy to do that these days in America, it’s full of the social justice warriors looking to take something you say and twist it into an offensive blurb.  Feelings of jealousy and narcissism popped up whenever I went online, so I opted out.  A few friends asked “how can a guy like you, working in a technology field not be on Facebook?”  The answer to me is clear. It’s a huge time waster and displays the worst aspects of our culture.  Maybe it doesn’t affect everyone the same way it did to me, but I can understand why people claim it’s ruining their lives.  I’ve heard of relationships being destroyed, not just because of social media, but it was mentioned as a reason.  And the amount of advertising and self promotion on the site was enough for me to say goodbye to Facebook.

Behold the Nexus 5. The Greatest phone ever.

I am grateful I never became addicted to technology but I see it everywhere.  It used to annoy me, going out to lunch and everyone at the table cocked their head down to stare at their screen.  But me wanting attention is just like them for going on Facebook to broadcast themselves, so to get annoyed would be hypocritical.  I just wonder what’s going to happen to people’s spinal alinement.  I had horrible posture growing up as I never listened to my mom and to this day I stand up straight but I’m afraid I may never correct the issue.  I can understand how people are losing their ability to pay attention when you see them constantly checking their phones all the time even during conversation.  A girl I met online met up with me at a bar one time and I caught her checking her phone a few times habitually.  I mentioned it to her and she apologized and admitted she had a problem.  Next time she did it, I snatched that phone out of her hand and put it in my pocket and continued on with conversation.  She smiled at that one.  I owe my friend Don for giving me a similar lesson.  At a Panthers Hockey game my phone vibrated so I took it out while the game was going on.  He gave me a hard elbow, a cold stare and pointing at the game saying “Game’s down there.”  I got so pissed off.  How dare he tell me what to do.  But over time I realized, he made a good point.  We paid good money to watch that game and I don’t even remember what that text was about, it had such little importance.

I know people think they can multitask but humans can only really focus on one thing at a time.  I’ve tried and never been successful.  If you have a solution please let me know.  Now there is Phantom Vibration Syndrome, the false believe that one’s phone is ringing.  It just goes to show that these devices are affecting our nervous systems.  Not only that, but countless people admit that they could not live without their phone.  What’s going to happen when the internet goes down, or when you lose your phone?  People say they feel lost and disconnected in the absence of their phone, yet 20 years ago we didn’t even have them.

Some celebrities have turned to flip phones and I almost did the same after I thought I lost my Nexus 5 (best phone in existence, by the way.)  I would have missed the awesome android interface but I saw it as a chance to get rid of my data plan and save some money.  I really don’t need a camera and mp3 player, just talk and text would suffice.  Getting rid of GPS would be fun, it would be like an adventure every time I had to go somewhere new.  But, I ended up finding my phone on a trail on the disc golf course.  I was ecstatic because that thing cost me some descent change, but I was prepared to suffer a loss.  ANd it served as a reminder, delete some goofy photos on my phone, I don’t want strangers looking at those.

Then I looked up some youtube videos on facebook and cell phone addiction and it made me laugh.  We’re producing a generation of douche bags.  I gave up tv a few years ago, so when I look at it now I’m just completely lost.  Reality TV is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.  It’s completely scripted and sensationalized, and I can see why people are acting like A-holes everywhere.  THey watch the Kardashians act like they’re better than everyone else and so they repeat the behavior.  It’s infectous.  The level of narcisism online is ridiculously high.  I tried being an uber driver but the entitlement level of people is unreal.  I picked up 2 girls one time that just talked shit about their friends the whole ride, then changed their mind and had me drop them off down the street from where I picked them up.  They wasted $12 just because they could go on their phone and have a driver show up almost instantly.  But I’m not here to be angry or bitter.  I think people should be able to do whatever the fuck they want with their lives.

Then again, I have my own sense of entitlement and ego.  I think I’m better than anyone that constantly checks their phone.  Do you think I respect someone who would feel empty inside if they lost their phone?  You mean I can snatch that thing from your hand, smash it on the ground with my foot and you’lll lose your sense of self?  You pathetic weakling.  Hah!  Hey I quit smoking cigarettes. I recognized that they were a show of weakness and I don’t want anything to have that sort of power over me.  Carl Jung wrote “Those people who are least aware of their unconscious side are the most influenced by it.”  You decide how much power you let your phone have over your life.

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