throw away your smart phone

“Throw away your smart phone,” is something I’m sure you’d never hear me say.

But that’s precisely what some people need to do.

If you’re checking FB during dinner, if you panic when you leave your phone at home, if you find yourself always looking downthen yes, maybe you’ve got a problem.

The smart phone is pretty much the one tool people can’t seem to live without.

After all, we use it to keep in touch with our friends. We use it to check the weather. We use it to wake us up and alert us to special events. We take pics and then share them on social media sites all from the comfort of our phones. We take notes with it.

Pretty much, you name it, we use it.

I know some people who go through withdrawals when they don’t have their phone with them.

Our phone has become a big part of our lives.

But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, growing up no one I knew had a cell phone, much less a smart phone.

And somehow we managed.

Not just that, but we had a whole lot of fun as well.

Sometimes it’s  hard to explain to my 5-year-old son just what it was like growing up, because so much has changed.

For some young kids today, their lives would grind to a halt without their smart phonethat’s not a good thing.

Life isn’t a computer screen. It isn’t virtual friends you chat with for hours, but have never met. The best things in life can’t be bought and there isn’t an app for them either.

So go ahead, throw away your smart phone.

By doing so it will force us to get back in touch with what’s real.

At least, that’s what some people would have us think. And while I understand where they’re coming from, it’s just not realistic.

Tony Robbins identified six basic human needs and believes everyone is motivated by their desire to fulfill these needs. I tend to agree with him.

  1. Certainty / Comfort
  2. Variety
  3. Significance
  4. Connection / Love
  5. Growth
  6. Contribution

Certainty is precisely why people often refuse to change despite all the warning signs around them. People resist change. It’s just part of our make-up.

The same can be said for technology. I remember my parents not embracing all the new gadgets. While we had a VCR, a computer, a CD player, and even a walkman, they had no desire to really learn how to use them.

Sure, they could use their basic functions, but any small changes would cause them to freak out.

Now, I’ll admit, I get it, because one day a friend came over and “fixed” my computer. The only problem was he didn’t tell me about it, so the next day I was like, “What the heck is going on?” And I freaked outjust like my parents did.

That was a wake-up call for me. I realized that I had to keep up with change.

Thankfully, nearly everything is googleable. Google is our friend so when we have problems the two fastest ways to figure anything out are:

  • Google it
  • Ask someone who knows

So why in the world would I throw away my smart phone?

They are our google in our pocket, our virtual assistant, our entertainment center and notebook all rolled into one.

But what we need to do is learn to turn it off from time to time.

In our family, we have a rule that we don’t touch our phone during dinner (no TV either) unless an urgent call comes in (and even then we need to ask permission). I know there are some people that insist on having all phones turned off during dinner, but there are times I’m glad I don’t do that (just a few weeks ago I had forgotten an appointment I had). Thank goodness I noticed the call.

Sure, we could live without our smart phone, or a TV or the Internet for that matter. But why would we want to?

I look at smart phones as a tool, that can be used to either help us or hurt us.

It’s important that we understand the difference.

Smartphones allow us to always be within reach, which is great at times (think emergencies) but not so great at others (unable to avoid your boss’ call even on Sundays).

I spend most of my time using my smart phone as a research tool, a camera to capture those special moments, a study tool (to keep books and lectures on) and my access to social media to help my businesses and stay in touch with friends.

I do play the occasional game or two.

I do watch a TV show from time to time.

But for me, my smart phone helps me do things faster and easier.

So noI’m not throwing away my smart phone.

And I don’t think you should either.

Adrian Shepherd

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