Thursday, October 30, 2014

The power of a smart phone

   Oh, the power of a smart phone! It can connect us to anyone, anywhere at anytime. We can watch the news as it unfolds. We can see the weather in another part of the world. We can have a face to face conversation with someone thousands of miles away. All with a small device in the palm of our hands! My smart phone has more memory than my first computer!
  I've thought about how different our world is today from when I was growing up, which doesn't seem that long ago! While I think the technology behind my phone is amazing I do think being connected at anytime can be very destructive.
   Login to Facebook and within a few minutes, you are likely to see someone using the power of their smartphone to rip someone to shreds. You get angry and upset at someone and the first reaction is to get on your phone and tear into them via social media. The heat of the moment can cause us to completely lose our heads. On more than one occasion, I've said something that made me feel about an inch tall. You can delete the post, but the words have already been said and feelings have already been hurt. I've learned to put my phone down when I am upset about something and resist the urge to profess to the social media world how upset I am. If truth be known, most of the people on my friends list probably don't want to hear about it!
   Nobody is immune to being on the receiving end of a social media blast. Teachers, neighbors, coaches, doctors, lawyers, restaurants, supermarkets, retail shops, police, etc. The list is endless. Of course there are always those "vague" posts or pictures meant to tear someone apart without really mentioning their name. Vague statuses are no less damaging than the tirades. Vague statues are a weak attempt to get attention because you don't feel there are consequences. I would be willing to be 90% of people have read a vague status and thought, "They are talking about me!"
   Think back to when you were a kid and you'll find we handled things quite a bit different. When someone upset us, hurt our feelings, or "did us wrong", what did we do? We didn't have cell phones so we couldn't text our friends about the person. We didn't have social media, so we couldn't talk bad about them for the world to see. We had two choices. We could go to the person and talk to them or we could just move on. Pretty simple, don't you think.
   Why not start a change and put the power of the smartphone to good use? Send someone a positive, uplifting text message. Post something on a teachers page praising them for all they've done for your child. Post on a restaurant page about the great service you received. Once one person posts a negative comment, it begins snowballing and before you know it, a hundred people are bashing a restaurant because someone forgot part of their order at the drive-thru window.
   Being connected all the time also has created a generation of people who don't communicate any way other than through their phone. My daughter was talking to me one day when I was so buried in my phone, I completely missed what she said. I knew it hurt her feelings. I have allowed this device to become such a huge part of my life. When I get on the road (as a passenger) to go out of town, I immediately connect to Facebook or Twitter. By the time we arrive at our location, my phone is warm because I haven't put it down. Look at what I'm missing out on by letting this powerful device have so much of my time! I'm missing conversation with my husband and daughter. I'm missing the beautiful scenery. I'm missing out on life, people! I've made a pledge to my family and myself to stop letting my smartphone take up so much of my time. After all, our time is limited and I want to use every single minute like it's my last.
   You are in control of your smartphone....don't let it control you!

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