North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Opinion

September 18, 2013

Danielle Cater: Just put the doggone phone down a minute

COMMENTARY — Let’s put the phone down and talk — unless you are reading this column on your phone, then I would like for you to continue reading.

Our society has gotten so wrapped up in technology that we have completely sidestepped the importance of face-to-face talk time. As I was emailing my boss yesterday, I realized that we rarely see each other face-to-face. We communicate mainly thought email, phone calls and texts, but rarely do we ever see each other.

I’m not one of these crazy tech-haters who find reasons to complain about every new gadget that comes down the line. On the contrary, I welcome the new technology. I love that when my parents are in India on mission trips I can Skype them and talk with them while seeing their faces and their environment. I love checking Facebook while waiting in the bank line every day. But I don’t love being in a room with someone who might as well not exist because of the distraction of their phones.

We’ve all had that moment while sitting around the living room with family when we realize that everyone is on a mobile device, and no one is talking to each other. Sometimes, we have to make the conscious effort to put the phone down and communicate with the physical beings who are occupying the room with us.

My husband and I have completely wrecked our daughters’ worlds by telling them that they can no longer play games on our phones. We didn’t just do it because we are two people with two phones and four children, so you can see where the fighting starts, but the real reason is so they will be a part of the family.

It’s crazy how dependent we are on our phones. We live our lives through this hand-held device and it has drastically simplified our worlds in some ways. You don’t really need a watch, calendar, cookbook, calculator, radio, computer or notepad... you can do all of their functions right on your phone. Use your phone for all that it’s good for; shoot, even use it to make phone calls every once in a while, but don’t let it take the place of your relationships.

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