Some resources worth sharing re: cell phones.

I’m far from the only one worried about cell phone use.

  1. A photo series by Eric Pickersgill entitled Removed features portraits of people engrossed in their cell phones but with the cell phones removed. Their postures and expressions are both sad and disturbing. What should bother us is that these scenes are ubiquitous. Worse, so many of us can substitute ourselves for the subjects. In this sense, the photos are self-portraits. We should wonder at what we see. Pickersgill’s  “About” page includes a project statement, and video material including two Ted Talks by Pickersgill entitled “Do Our Devices Divide Us?” and “How are we really connecting with our devices?”
  2. The #DeviceFreeDinner project. A campaign by Common Sense Media (endorsed by the American Academy of Paediatrics) aimed at improving the health of children and families through sensible limits on the use of technology. Particularly, the campaign encourages using dinner time to actually talk to each other. Face to face. In the flesh. Distraction free.
  3. An article by Eric Andrew-Gee entitled “Your smart phone is making you stupid, anti-social, and unhealthy. So why can’t you put it down?” Andrew-Gee “explores the growing body of scientific evidence that digital  distraction is damaging our minds.” Globe and Mail. January 6, 2018. (Updated April 10, 2018.)


What will become of nostalgia?

Everywhere one looks, people of all ages have their heads down staring at their cell phones. I’ve a thought about this phenomenon. It’s one thing discovering technology late in life, when one has a store of so many experiences. But what of the young? I wonder, what will become of nostalgia?

Imagine the conversations.

Do I think having a cell phone took away from my childhood? Of course not. I did lot’s of stuff. Normal stuff. Just like everyone else. I texted and I went to the candy store and bought gum. I texted and I sat. I texted and I walked. I texted while I bathed. I laid in bed and texted until 3 in the morning.  I texted when I woke up. I texted before I peed. I texted while I peed. I texted at the breakfast table. I texted and took out the trash. I texted on the school bus. I texted until the bell rang. Ms. Teachy doesn’t allow cell phones. So I texted under my desk. I texted the cute girl in class. I did notice her! Every recess, we sat beside each other and texted. Until the day she sent me a break-up text. I didn’t notice she’d stopped sitting beside me days ago.

Of course I had friends. Some I’ve even met. How do I know them? I’ve saved all their selfies. Duh. My friends and I texted for hours and hours. We went for ice cream and didn’t look at each other. We went for burgers and didn’t look at each other. We went to the movies and watched our cell phone screens. We bought the tickets from our phones. We ordered popcorn from our phones. We texted Mom to pick us up. We never did find John.

Yes, of course there’s a generation gap here. What’s with this older generation that doesn’t understand English? My Uncle wanted me to see the Galaxy, and he drove me to the park to see a bunch of stars. What a rip! And then he made me watch the original Star Wars. It was boring. And my Uncle was way too excited. Even worse, he tried telling me that C3PO is an Android. Old people need to get with the real world.

Of course I have memories of my family. Like everyone else, some good and some bad. The good times? Well, I wrote to Santa (I knew it was Mom) and asked for the newest cell phone. Santa delivered. Every Christmas. Then I’d spent all day eating and texting my friends about my new phone. And they’d tell me about their new phones. It was fun! But my biggest laugh was the time I walked into a glass door while texting and I needed 8 stitches. I texted all my friends from the emergency room. The best part is that they texted back that someone posted a video on You Tube of me cracking my head on the glass. I got more than 100,000 views! The bad times? We went camping in Yellowstone Park. Did you know there are places you can’t get cell phone reception? What are you supposed to do?! It was the longest two days of my life. Even worse, my Mom kept making me smile for pictures in front of some fountain. Lame. She put the pictures on Facebook when we got home. It was a real drag ’cause her friends kept telling me I had so much fun. But then there was the worst time of all. My cousin died when he was 17. He was my hero. How’d he die? Oh, he was texting and driving. I texted everyone from the funeral that it was the worst day of my life. Anyways, this girl texted me that it was the worst day of her life because she was sitting at her mom’s funeral because her mom was driving the other car. How can anyone say that when my life is being ruined?, I texted to all of my friends. I had the best friends. They all texted back. Did she actually say that?! What a bitch! So, I guess my worst day was really kind of my best day because I knew for sure my friends will stick up for me when someone attacks me. And that’s what really matters in life. Your friends.

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Taking a stand against the (anti) social problems of cell phone use.


Here’s a notice I’ve sent to organizers of a reading group we host to exemplify what my hubby and I are doing in OUR HOME to mitigate this (anti) social problem. (Asking people not to use cell phones at our table didn’t work, nor did placing a friendly request on the door, nor did posting a notice on the reading group forum online.)

“We’ve a policy about cell phones which we will make clear to everyone from the beginning of term. And this is a general policy for our home, not ‘our reading group’-specific. Just as we don’t allow smokers in our home, we don’t allow cell phones at the table. I’ve noticed the looks on the faces of people who take a turn to speak only to be met with someone, or some others, texting or turning their heads to check their phones. It gives speakers the message that what they have to say isn’t important, and it’s distracting to everyone else. Since we’ve noticed people sneaking cell-phone peeks, notwithstanding our entreaty for etiquette in our home, we’ve decided that this year cell phone use during any and all events we host will be relegated to the front porch along with the smokers. If our out-with-the-smokers move seems too harsh, you folks will remember that even before Paul quit smoking, we did move smokers outside in courtesy for those bothered by the smoke. Some people are as bothered by cell phones as others are by smoke.”

So what will we do if people continue to ignore our request for cell phone etiquette? The offenders will be asked to leave.