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Everything King: Wendy's rules for proper smartphone use

It's great to be connected, but let's agree not to ruin anybody's vacation. OK?
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smartphone camera photo family

I am the dinosaur sitting in a coffee shop, alone, writing in a journal with a pen. I used to worry that people were thinking “So sad, there’s a poor woman with no friends” when really what they were thinking was “So sad, there’s a poor woman with no cell phone”.

Well no longer, friends!

I have been part of the resistance for a very long time. I always go kicking and screaming into the technological age but eventually I do go.

To be clear, I have always had a cell phone but used it only in the car for emergencies. I still adhere to my feeling that there is no need for all this excess yakking. Nobody has that much to say or at least nothing that interesting to say. I still sort of believe that only doctors on-call or the President really need to be constantly attached to a phone. (I have revised that because in today’s world THAT President should not be able to touch a phone — red or otherwise — ever!)

Seriously, do we really think we are important to our jobs or families that we must be connected 24/7?

I think in a lot of cases we have really done ourselves a disservice. Bosses now take advantage of the fact that they know workers will be checking messages or texts at any time of the day or night. So now eight hours wasn’t enough — you get to either be working or thinking about the job even when you should be enjoying some free time. I never want to be so connected. Sometimes you just have to unplug.

Parents: Aside from making sure your kids are safe, I don’t even know why you want them to have constant access to you. Freedom  and a little space is good all the way around.

I can’t tell you how many vacations have been ruined by someone’s child (usually adult child) calling Mom while she’s hours away to be told about some crises at home (someone has a hangnail). If they didn't have the ability to phone every 5 minutes — the person at home would figure out a solution and Mom and Dad could enjoy the earned time away. 

We used to have a family rule. Don’t call and ruin someone’s trip EVEN if someone dies because they can’t change it and will deal with the trauma when the time comes.

Also, in a social setting. No phones. Its rude pure and simple. I want a dinner companion to be present and making eye contact with me not with a little screen. I hope I don’t cave on that one.

Having said all that — why am I getting one now?

To be honest, a friend gave me her old one. Goodbye flip phone hello flat screen. (Is that what you call it?)

I do appreciate how convenient it can be. I know it can be used for good deeds like warning a friend that there’s a huge traffic jam up ahead that can be avoided. It is great for alerting someone you are running late. I like knowing that everybody got home safely from an outing. I will appreciate not looking like a loser at the diner.

I doubt I’ll ever be a big texter and I don’t imagine I will ever know my phone number.

I shall report back if and when I figure out how to turn it on and off.

I just thought of a perfect first text.  

How about: 'Never is still a good time to call — love, Wendy'



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