Growing up at my grandparents’ house, we had a rotary phone. Every time the phone rang, my siblings and I would race to answer it. Being a boy and the eldest, I had an advantage; I always outran them and answered the phone. Until my siblings came up with a plan and it was to wait by the phone. This made them to miss out on other things.
After reading “Thoughts on the phone”, an article by Wayne K. Spear. It got me thinking about the effects of these modern phones aka smart phones. Their effect on our awareness of the environment and immediate spaces we live in.
Jokes are made in an attempt to have those without the smart phones feel inferior “how do you sport a person without a blackberry in a circle of friends? – the one not facing down does not use a blackberry!”. Even the saying “chin up” lost its meaning because walking around without your phone in hand and looking at the screen is un-cool.
How many times have you been in a situation where you were busy with your phone and missed out on something happening around you? It could have been an accident or just someone missing a step and having the ground catch them. Maybe we no longer get to be finders-keepers of money because we never see it on the ground. We no longer hand out money to the needy and less privileged because we never notice them at road intersections and road side pavements. We bump into each other at malls because we don’t see each other approaching.
While driving on the M1 south, just before the Marlboro Bridge on the right hand side of the highway I used to notice a company that made inflatable jumping castles. After it moved, I always wondered what would happen to that building. Only yesterday I realised there is a nearly complete three storey building. But I drive past there nearly every day; honestly it is just five days a week. For some reason, I never saw when they were laying the foundation or when they started building the walls and planting the pillars. Please don’t remind me not to use my phone when driving, because this device is an attention seeker and it is irresistible. Can you believe it; even now I am using it to write this piece.
A lot has changed since those years of the rotary phone back at my grandparents’ house. We now carry the smart phone with us everywhere we go. In them we have access to the different radios stations, some of the novels and books we would like to read, friends and family are always a touch of a finger away and our favourite news publication cost less with the latest news always available.
Remember, to not let life pass you by while giving your phone attention. Be aware of your environment and what is happening in your community.