I think I’m going to ask for a smartphone for Christmas. Thanks to some laptop trays manufacturers of high principles and a low bank balance, I have held off on fancy mobile phone ownership so far. I’ve never owned a Blackberry, an Andriod, an iPhone, or any phone that makes it easy to do anything other than make calls. But I think I’m finally ready to cave. There have been a couple of situations recently when it would have been helpful to access my email while I was out, and more than once when I’ve been lost I really wished I could pull up Google Maps on my phone. So I’m excited about eventually being part of the world of smartphone owners.
But then I see families sitting around tables in restaurants with everyone staring into their glowing iPhone screen protector suppliers, or think of that video of the bride texting during her own wedding ceremony, and I think, Is that going to be me?! In theory, there is no reason why texts and emails and Angry Birds should dominate my life just because I have this device. I should simply choose not to look at it during occasions when it would be inappropriate. But that’s kind of like saying I shouldn’t have that third slice of chocolate cake when I’m trying to lose weight. With my measly willpower, it just doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to.
They say that there’s no going back once you’ve tasted life with a smartphone, but I’ve resolved to downgrade if I can’t handle it. The moment I catch myself texting a friend to say “Watching DD blow out birthday candles,” instead of actually watching my dear daughter blow out birthday candles, is the day I go down to the Verizon store and beg them to give me back my $30 flip phone.
I’m not distracted during family time. As a stay-at-home mom, I’m definitely tempted to spend too much time on my computer. Being outside of the workforce leaves you feeling isolated, and texting, emails, and web surfing offer a much-needed sense of connectedness and community. That’s a good thing, but I’m tempted to escape to my “community” in the online world too often. I already have to fight a daily battle not to waste half the day staring at my laptop trays, and it’s nice that there’s not one more glowing screen in the house competing for my attention.