This weekend, I spent time with my favorite people. However, I caught myself checking my phone during lunch. I got that feeling something wasn’t right. I realized that the hypocrite inside of me was yelling “Get off the phone!”
I’ve spent years telling people how I hate smartphones. I’ve ranted how smartphones have become appendages. I’ve railed against technology as I have seen what it has done to people.
After my behavior this weekend, I’m ashamed of myself. After reading Dave Bouskill’s post telling people to get off their smartphone, it’s time I made my stand.
It’s time for travelers and everyone else to get off the phone!
Why I hate cell phones (and my anti-technology rant)
When I was a teenager, I talked a lot on the phone. I didn’t have many friends but I would spend a lot of time talking to the ones I had. I was as bad as most girls.
Today, I don’t care for the phone. For years, I refused to get a smartphone. I didn’t want to be on the internet, check Facebook or Twitter, or constantly be connected with others. My phone was a piece of crap. After 8 years, buttons were falling off but I refused to get a new one.
For years, I’ve been anti-technology. I say this as someone who works in IT, has a full time job on the computer, and carries a blackberry for work.
As a travel blogger, I’ve questioned whether our use of technology is a good things. I’ve asked if social media has hurt travel bloggers.
I’ve heard private conversations in public spaces. I’ve watched people ignore friends so they could check email, update Facebook, or upload an instagram photo (yes, I’m guilty of this one). I’ve seen people walk side by side as they look down to type messages to each other. When did that become more enjoyable that sharing words face to face with another person?
While I don’t hate technology, I do hate what it has done to all of us.
We live in a world where technology has connected us. Yet people with thousands of online friends and connections feel alone. People have forgotten how to talk and communicate. Many people struggle to share feelings, talk to their family or friends, or remember their last real conversation with another human being.
As a society, we may be more depressed, angry, violent, and selfish than we’ve ever been. At times, I’m amazed at how self centered and important people become with a cell phone in their hand. It’s all I can do to keep from yelling “GET OFF THE PHONE!!!”
Ironically, technology has isolated us from real people and relationships. When I look at the problems in the world, I don’t think we need more government, money, or technology. We need to spend more time connecting with others through our words, emotions, and actions.
Travelers, get off the phone!
I’ve seen beautiful sunsets, eaten great food, and hung out with lots of people. I couldn’t wait to share that with a tweet or Facebook update.
With my horrible sense of direction, my GPS on my phone has saved me. I’ve found places to eat late at night when I didn’t know where to go.
However, it’s time for travelers – and everyone else – to get off the phone.
This past year, I got a smartphone because of my College Football Travel Tour. Going on the road to write travel guides for Expedia, I told myself that I needed it to stay connected, share photos and statuses, and remain connected with my travel community.
Honestly, being connected has made me feel so alone these last few months of traveling. In an effort to stay connected, I missed out on opportunities. My phone became an excuse. I failed to live in the real world and disconnected from life in an attempt to stay connect online.
Last year, I walked the streets of Seattle with no phone to distract me. I met these lovely University of Washington sorority girls picking up trash on the streets. In Ireland, the Irish people changed my life as conversations in pubs, at a school, and in the airport reminded me what was important.
My most memorable travel moments have been the people I’ve met while traveling. I’ve let my stupid phone get in the way of taking chances and making memories.
I’m tired of Instagram photos, Four Square check ins, Facebook updates, and tweets. I’m sad when I think about the conversations I missed, the time I wasted, and the things I missed.
Post it later. Live in the moment now. You’re going to see fewer updates from me.
Travelers, will you join me and get off the phone?
Don’t let your smartphone own you
Technology is a good thing. I love the things I can do now that I couldn’t do years ago. I can keep in touch with friends I hadn’t talked to you in years on Facebook. Thanks to social media, I have friends in nearly every city I visit.
However, I see a hurting world and missed opportunities. I need people. Talking face to face, sharing a touch or smile, chemistry, connection, and real life. I believe this can change the world.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, I love this quote from the Bible. I think it sums up smartphones, technology, and so many other things in life.
“Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial.
Today, life called. It was a short conversation. He told me “get off the phone.” I’m going to listen.
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