At some point, we really didn’t have to think as hard anymore — our heads were filled with commands to refine our Google searches and cool little sites that we want to show our friends instead of phone numbers and our to-do lists It wasn’t so bad though — because there used to be a clear separation between desktop computers (because laptops were heavy and too expensive) and our cell phones.
Text messaging plans were highway robbery.
Social networking was a term that had yet to be coined.
The conversations we had in person were still, well… CONVERSATIONS.
But the smartphone single-handedly (heh) changed the way the game was played.
Sure, they’re not as powerful as their desktop, laptop or tablet computing counterparts.
Sure, they’re still a technology that people are still getting used to (evidenced by the number of times I see speaking events, church, meetings, etc. interrupted by an unexpected phone call — it boggles my mind as to why people don’t learn to put their phones on silent, or at the very least, vibrate!)
But never before have we been so connected to the personalities we’ve publicly established for ourselves! We’re updating information more often than ever, trying to ensure that our online presence is an accurate reflection of our physical selves. (Note that before, we used to use screen names, rudimentary pseudonyms that we could hide behind and would often be dissociated from who we REALLY were. Facebook changed all THAT!)
However, when you’re using your smartphone, as cool as it is, you need to take care not to alienate the physical world around you!
We’re all victim to it — checking our phones JUST IN CASE an important email has come through. Or if you’re in a boring situation, worry not — the Internet will save you.
It’s like we all silently made a pact to become ruder to the people around us. It’s completely BIZARRE.
So let’s get to it. Some quick rules to really figure out how you should be using that smartphone properly!
- THOU SHALT NOT use your smartphone when engaged in a one-on-one conversation (unless you both know each other from online, then you know you’re probably the types to check your phones a lot anyway)
- THOU SHALT NOT keep your phone on ringer when at an important event. Like a wedding. (If any phones ring at mine, I’ll walk from the altar and crush it. Y’all been warned.)
- THOU SHALT NOT use the smartphone to ignore your significant other. (Especially in bed — don’t be stupid!)
- THOU SHALT NOT smartphone and drive! (Tweets don’t kill. People do.)
- THOU SHALT use your smartphone to keep up-to-date with things. (However, you do not need to do so every few seconds. The world is a rapidly changing place, but how much of it actually matters?)
Just some ideas to get you going. So next time you’re tempted to use your smartphone in an inappropriate situation, or catch one of your friends doing it — perhaps you want to just let them know that there’s a time and a place to be jabbing away at screens and keys.
Unless, that is, they’re trying to tell you something.
And that’s another story entirely.
–Casey E. Palmer