Here goes another rant on a social phenomenon I dislike more than back-to-back TV commercials or politicians who lie to the public or the constant pop-up ads on Google, FB, AOL and everywhere else on the Internet.
Smart phones go to the top of my Bleh List every time.
Smart phones are ubiquitous.
Smart phones are addictive.
Smart phones may not cause brain cancer, but they impair the judgment of more and more users. A few examples:
· walking in front of traffic with faces in phones,
· going to the bathroom with phones,
· going to bed with their phones,
· texting while driving,
· talking while driving,
· checking the Internet or email while driving,
· checking phone hundreds of time a day,
· eating meals with friends/family while checking phones,
· giving young children phones as gifts/rewards,
· spending more time on the phone than with face-to-face people,
· playing on-line games for more than an hour/day
· using a smart phone for games during a memorial service
Uh-huh! I witnessed this last example two weeks ago at the funeral service for my long-time critique partner. In a standing-room only environment, one of the mourners clicked his “smart phone” throughout the service. From my vantage point, I’d swear he was playing games … but, admittedly, I am jaded.
And. Lest I seem like a total luddite, I’ll mention the ubiquitous presence of
smart phones at a recent rally for reunifying immigrant families. Taking picture to capture the event for now and posterity seemed like a good use of smart phones. Giving those who couldn’t attend the rally seemed like a good use of smart phones. Sharing pictures and recordings on social media to get out the message seemed like a good use of smart phones.
So does the good judgment at the rally outweigh the bad judgment in the case of my friend’s funeral?
What do you think?
What would you have done at the funeral—before/during/after?
***AB Plum lives and writes in the heart of Silicon Valley. She owns a cell phone with no bells or whistles and uses it only in emergencies. Smart phones appear infrequently in The MisFit Series her dark, psychological thrillers. Writing as Barbara Plum in WEIRd MAgIC, her paranormal romance trilogy, witches and warlocks rely more on magic than smart phones.