I hate your phone.
My phone lets me work from anywhere and navigate strange cities without having to ask a stranger for help, but your phone gets in the way of us connecting.
I hate your phone because you’re looking at it when I’m trying to talk to you. You’re scrolling through BuzzFeed links on Facebook instead of telling me about what’s new in your life. You tell me that you miss me, but then you spend our time together scrolling through your Instagram feed and seeing what your old high school English teacher is having for lunch today.
I’m right here.
Put your damn phone down.
I watched this video on my phone.
I was laying in bed beside Jared, and he asked what I was watching. I felt very smug because he should watch this. He often wraps one arm around me while the other is holding up his phone to get one last Facebook fix before bed.
I rolled over and handed my phone to him.
I hate my phone, too.
My phone helps me navigate the twists and turns of unfamiliar Pittsburgh roads and make sure my check was deposited into my bank account. And it ensures that I am never, ever bored. Not on the bus, or at the laundromat, or on the sidelines at my kid’s soccer game.
My phone helps me connect to my friends all over the world. I can reach out and tell them how not alone they are at any time. Even when I’m playing cards with my kids at my kitchen table.
I watched that video and rolled over to hand my phone to my husband in bed, and I thought, “I need to do something about this. This has gone too far.”
I thought maybe I’d get an old phone. Maybe I’d get one of those phones that only makes calls and sends texts, like the one my stepdad was still trying to figure out how to use when he died last year. But then how would I figure out how to get to REI from the grocery store? How would I know when my flight is delayed or where my hotel is located? How would I know to remember to pick up my pants from the tailor as I’m walking by the tailor?
I don’t hate everything about my phone.
I just hate the parts that get in the way of me looking at the world right in front of me. I hate the parts that leave me looking at the top of your head because you’re looking at your phone instead of at me.
So, I deleted those parts. I deleted everything that was in the folder marked “Social”, because none of it was helping me be more social. I can be Internet social when I’m at my laptop, but I want to be face-to-face social when I’m face-to-face. I want to stop leading with the top of my head.
I’m not sure how long this will last. I’m not sure if it will make a difference. Maybe I’ll just start distracting myself with mobile web browsing instead of social network surfing. Maybe the problem of disconnecting from what’s right in front of me can’t be fixed by deleting a few apps from phone.
But maybe it’s a start.