Cell Phones

Posted on in Todd Talks by Todd Johnson

By now, most of us have had a personal cell phone for nearly 20 years. Sure, they have been around much longer than that, but seeing someone with a cell phone in the '80's and even the early '90's was uncommon enough to receive a double take.

From the time the first mobile phones were available to the public in 1983 (at a cost of nearly $4,000 each) to today, their evolution has been astounding. As handsets became smaller, they became easier to carry everywhere we went. By the mid '90's, they fit easily in the pocket of your jacket or jeans. Around the same time, phones were capable of sending and receiving email and text messages. Now you didn't even have to use your phone to actually talk to anyone if you didn't want to. Then in the early 2000's, cameras were added and people everywhere could no longer deny they did anything stupid because now someone always had proof. Privacy and anonymity were all but dead. Today, virtually every cell phone sold has a touch screen, web browser, app store and digital cameras. Mobile phones have become sources of entertainment.

Cell phones are amazing. They are an incredibly versatile tool that everyone can benefit from having. With that being said, I'm of the opinion that far too many people are spending far too much time on them. I'm sure most of us have had to repeat something to someone that was too busy with their phones to listen to what you had to say. I'm guilty of failing to pay attention to a real life conversation because of my phone. The digital information on my phone wasn't going to expire. It certainly could have waited. Have you ever walked into a room that a few people were sitting in and found that you're the only one not looking at your phone? It's so easy to be checking Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and any other social media or news application and not notice that an hour had passed. And that's before you play any games, send emails or texts. It's to the point that some people reach for their phones if they have any idle time.

I don't want my kids to have to say, "Daddy, look at me" over and over because I'm reading or watching something insignificant on my phone. I don't want to make anyone around me feel like they have to get in line behind a cell phone for my attention. I think it's important that we engage in real face—to—face conversations. You know, actually interact with other humans without the help of Wi-Fi or a strong signal even if all are available at the same time.

A couple ideas that I would like to try to break my mild mobile dependency is that I am going to impose a phone curfew on myself. I don't see why I can't leave my phone somewhere each night at the start of dinner. Once I sit down for dinner, my phone is essentially off limits unless it's an emergency. I will also make a better effort to put my phone away when there are other humanoids in the same area and the potential for face—to—face conversation is imminent.

Just for fun, I am going to include a link to a quiz you can take to see if you have nomophobia (cell phone addiction). You could even passive aggressively ask someone you think spends too much time on their phone to take it.

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