You think you need it.
You’re miserable without it. Life is so much better with it. You smile more, laugh more. When you don’t have it, you’re not happy. A bit unsettled. You feel lost.
It’s not your workout. It’s not sex. It’s not alcohol. It’s not your lover. It’s not love.
It’s … your phone.
Read that again. YOUR PHONE.
That’s kind of sad, isn’t it?
No, I’m wrong. It’s really sad. I’m going to spare you the lecture about our growing disconnection from the people in front of us, about our growing predilection for a crafted reality vs. the reality breathing and pulsing in front of us.
You don’t need to hear it again. I don’t need to say it again. I’m as guilty of this obsession as everyone else. Maybe even more so.
I love my phone. I love the sense of connectedness it brings. I love that in the small moments of life, the minutes I have waiting in line at the bank or in the yawning nothingness of a doctor’s office, I can check in with someone. I love that I can keep an easy information flow with my kids on our phones. I’ll even admit to loving Facebook and Twitter and Instagram on my phone. And yes, I love to flirt with someone special on my phone. Love, love, love it.
So why am I telling you this? Because I watch the phone culture expand all around us and I think maybe we need a little re-centering, a little prioritizing, a little clarity. So, I have this:
When it’s important? Pick it up.
When it’s not important? Put it down.
The rules for the phone are no different (really) than the rules for life. Just because it’s an expanding technological device does not mean that new rules have to be made. The same rules apply now as before we had cell phones (yes, I can remember that far). People remain more important than phones. And love continues to rule all, despite our best efforts to minimize or equivocate its importance in our lives. Love is the bomb. Love for your family, your partner, your kids, yourself. The best part of this world still is (and always will be) love. So remember that when you’re in the middle of an intense conversation and that metal box on the table buzzes. The more important thing has to win, or you will lose.
If it’s important to you, pick it up. If it’s not that important, put it down.
The one thing you need is not your phone. It might be air or food or love, but it’s not your phone …
“The person whose calls you always take? That’s the relationship you’re in.” — Nate in “The Devil Wears Prada”