As I mentioned when my mother was in the last stages of dying, I gave in and purchased a smart phone to enable better communication with hospice, medical staff, and other caregivers. I used the phone during this time and it worked—but I did not find it much more helpful than my old flip phone. It was somewhat easier to text but I did not text much and no texting was done with caregivers. The old tried and true talking was the best communication.
I also noticed the care and feeding of a smartphone was very distracting. It created a potent line of energy that needed maintaining much more than my flip phone. So, I am now back to a somewhat updated flip phone. I can text and talk. That is enough. If I need data for accessing the internet, I can do it via WiFi on my iPad—and I can also accomplish my writing. Of course, I have never seen the need for social media applications. I prefer face to face over facebook and I still use a camera to capture a shadow. My primary phone remains a land line.
The short flirtation with a smartphone gave me an experience of technology-distraction that I have only observed in others. I see, and now have experienced, how easily we can become addicted to instant gratification. Even our apps mirror this tendency, ie. “Instagram”. This saddens me. We are losing the gentle art of taking our time and being present to the ‘analog’ world. I have heard rumors that some young people raised in the smartphone era cannot tell time on an analog dial (a clock with hands).
We are basically a species hosting hands with opposable thumbs. We are capable of grasping and using tools to create wonderful works of art. When our minds are focused and settled, we can artistically create a world that houses and feeds everyone equally. When we are distracted and withdraw into our little self-absorbed worlds, we cease using our hands with presence and love. We fiddle with our devices and drop the artist’s brush. We become deaf to the call for compassion in front of us.
So, I would suggest a movement back to basic communication. I would support legislation to enact a law against the use of “robocalls” and other scams by any company or political entity because this annoyance is used as an excuse not to respond to calls. I pray that folks would then return to the wonder and spontaneity of answering their phones. My yoga master always said, “You should never be so distracted by life issues or even your spiritual practice that you cannot get up and answer your phone.” Of course, this was an era where the only lines were land lines and we actually spoke with each other.