Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny

It’s time to put the fucking phone down.  There’s a whole world of interesting shit out there, and it’s not inside a screen held in your hand.  

There are so many interesting people to talk to.  Some of them are your friends, some of them are your family.  They might be total strangers.  They might be your kids.  Talking to them while looking at your phone doesn’t work.  It’s separating you from the people you’re supposed to be connecting with.  And no, the people inside your phone don't need your attention more than the people you’re standing next to.  The people in the phone can wait.  

I’m as guilty as anyone.  Well, not as guilty as that dad at the park staring at his phone ignoring his little 3 year old girl who was trying to climb up a play structure repeatedly asking “daddy, help me” in the cutest little voice that should not be ignored because IT'S YOUR DAUGHTER AND YOU’RE THERE TO SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME WITH HER.  To this I say.. Put the fucking phone down.

(There’s probably some monetizing opportunity to post pictures of parents staring at phones at parks with kids, so please take this idea and run with it and make zillions of dollars selling that picture site to some tired old web company looking for a few more hits before they go the way of the dinosaur.  But after taking that picture, put the fucking phone down.)

I try to remind myself to put the fucking phone down when I think of people like that dad at the park.  Or that couple at the restaurant who sits there not looking at each other but looking at their own phones instead.  Is that where we’re at?  Might as well go completely virtual at the table and pull some oculus rift bullshit and be with the naked person of your dreams… dining at a table at the fanciest fucking restaurant in the universe on a ridge overlooking some sunset Lord of the Rings type waterfall on the side of a glorious mountain.  But instead of looking at that, you’re looking at Facebook on your phone.  Put the fucking phone down.

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of running into a guy that I hadn’t seen in years.  He told me all about his wonderful business and his little family, and when he finished and it was my turn to talk about what I’ve been up to the past few years, he dug into his pocket, pulled out his phone and started typing who knows what.  Is that where we’re at?  "Okay now that I’m done speaking, perhaps there’s someone in my phone who needs my attention more than you, the person I’m right next to."  And in case you, guy I hadn’t seen in years, are reading this:  Put the fucking phone down.

I repeat, I’m as guilty as anyone, but knowing that this is a really stupid state we’re in, I’m usually reminding myself to put the phone down.  The quickest way to do that is to think “what did we do before smartphones?” and the answer is always to put the phone down.  We didn’t need it before, and we don’t need it now.  And to the generation of kids who don’t know life without smartphones:  Put the fucking phone down.