Put Down Your Phone, Life is Calling

Put Down Your Phone, Life is Calling

Cell Phone Addiction

Something has been bothering me a lot lately. As I look around it seems that almost everyone is on their phone. From time to time some Internet Hemingway writes a post about cell phone addiction and it takes off like wildfire all over the Web. People like it, share it, and comment on it, all via their phones of course. It is quite an odd thing to watch. Most people seem to agree that there is a problem with this issue but they are slower to admit that they are part of that problem. Case in point, everyone abhors texting and surfing while driving, but few admit doing it.

But my post today is not about texting and driving or even about pinning at red lights. While we often hear about the dangers of such things, we often overlook a more likely danger…missing out on life.

The other day while I was watching my children wave to me from a carousel, I noticed that several other mothers were focused on their phones. Maybe it was their kiddos’ 10th time on the carousel that day, I truly do not know, but it struck me as sad.

And this weekend while I ate dinner in my local Ruby Tuesday, I witnessed a teenager plug her phone into a nearby outlet so she could keep texting. Her parents did not even object. But maybe she was waiting to hear about an organ transplant she needed.  Who’s to say?

The trouble is, you never really know why someone is clinging to their phone. I know that I kept my phone very close to me through the two deployments my family experienced.  I did not want miss any calls from my hubby who was in a war zone. I get that life sometimes requires us to maintain communication vigilance.  I really do.

But life also requires us to, well…live. When we choose to be focused in on our phones we cannot fully experience the world around us. Can you really connect and enjoy lunch with your friends if you each have a phone on the table that you keep checking? I mean really enjoy and really connect?

Do you ever stop and just think during your downtime anymore? Or does downtime mean you break out your phone and check it? A friend of mine just told me that she felt somewhat convicted at a recent dinner outing when she noticed that every time her husband took their son to the bathroom she pulled out her phone. She wondered why it was so difficult to sit silently alone for a few minutes.

A teen-aged relative of mine recently declined to answer my phone call even though I knew she had the phone in her hand because she had just sent me a text. When I asked her about it, she simply stated that she would rather text than talk so she could carry on several conversations at once. I wonder about the quality of such conversations. I wonder about the depth of such relationships.

A very wise woman once said that cell phones allow you to ignore the person in front of you while you spend time with someone who is not even there. Depending on who is in front of you, I guess that could be a good thing. But I think we have all experienced the brush off of talking to someone about something important and having them break eye contact with you to answer a text.

Does it have to be this way?

What bad thing would happen if you kept your phone out of reach while driving? What crisis would ensue if you left your phone in your purse or your car at your next personal lunch date? Does this idea make you uncomfortable? What if you watched your child play sports without your phone in hand? Or what if you hung up your phone and spoke to the other parents who are waiting to pick up the kiddos after school?

I am in no way suggesting that we all toss out our cell phones.  I am grateful that I get to stay in touch with my loved ones who I cannot sit down and have lunch with. If it weren’t for texts, picture messages, and Skype on my cell phone, I would feel even farther away from them. Cell phones can be a blessing, but can’t we all admit that our society does have a problem here?

I am not going to tell you what you should do, but I admit to being guilty of much of what I have written about here and I am tired of it. I refuse to let “being connected” disconnect me from the people and experiences around me. I reject shallow conversations interrupted by tweets, texts, and calls. I choose to live, to soak up the life around me. I choose to devote 100 percent of my attention to the person in front of me.

I choose to put down my phone and experience life. It is calling my name.



About Janice

I am so glad you stopped by. Kick your shoes off and hang with me a while. I am an Arizona native, wife to a hard-working hubby, mom of two, and daughter of the King. I love sharing recipes, crafts, and family activities that any mom can do. Life is complicated enough, right? When I am not up to my ears in laundry, dishes, and creating for Celebrating Family, you will also find me at East Valley Mom Guide. Come follow me on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. Tami Chambers says

    Great article! This is why I do not have a fancy phone that is able to get on the internet. When you have a phone that does not have those capabilities it is a lot less distracting and I can focus on the task at hand. 🙂

  2. Debra Wagner says

    This is a great article! I agree with this for sure. I have never intended on getting a cell phone, because when I left my house it was nice to get away from it. I have never been a phone person, maybe because I answered the phones at my job for 16 years …I dont know, but I never did call people and talk for hours like some people I know. At my last job I would be talking to young adults I worked with and thinking they were listening, I look down and they were texting the whole time. I thought how rude! But that is how all of them are, phone in hand head down. 🙁 Back in my day we were taught phone etiquette but today the little ones dont have a home phone to answer, so I believe this is why they do not know how to talk on the phone. Seems like have blasted into the Jetsons future! lol

  3. Very well said. I’ve felt like this for awhile, but it’s so hard to break the habit that has slowly formed over the years as cell phones have evolved into mini-computers that have every bell and whistle. No longer is it just a phone, but a status symbol for some and feeling that you are important and liked by so many. I’m gonna try even harder to keep my phone in my purse…hopefully my friends will too! 🙂

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