Saltwater TaffyCELL PHONE ADDICTIONS: Can you hear me now?

The topic of cell phone addiction couldn’t be more timely as our lives are now run by these so-called smartphones.  I think parents of Middle School Children should begin to wonder if their child is suffering from cell phone addiction.  Have we become so addicted to our cell phones that we are unable to notice what is happening around us.

Have you ever noticed the line at coffee shops where every person is on their phone, ignoring each other?  Have you ever noticed the driver next to you on the freeway madly texting with one hand on the wheel?  What about the very instant the plane lands at the airport and the race to check email begins?  I don’t know about you, but smartphone technology seems to be making us dumb and dumber, one text at a time.

As we continue to become more and more connected through technology, we are becoming more and more disconnected from each other.  While I like to pride myself on the ability to talk to anyone, anywhere, any time, I have noticed a change in my own behavior lately.

I must confess that I love everything about the social media explosion.  I am on Facebook, Twitter, +Google and  I also confess that I really love my iPhone, but the instant it sends me an alert, I grab for it.  This makes me wonder if I am suffering from cell phone addiction?

The number one concern I have about all of this is distracted driving.  Even though Facebook and Twitter buzzes with PSA commercials about texting and driving, the freeways are still filled with distracted drivers.  I too am guilty of the activity and it scares me.  I have gone so far as to leave my phone in the trunk of the car on purpose because the impulse to connect is so great.  Have you ever honked at someone for driving while distracted?  I have, but when I do, the bird gets flipped, lickety-split.

I now have to constantly remind myself to leave my phone alone while I am behind the wheel or engaged in a face-to-face conversation.  During a recent lunch meeting, the guy across the table from me must have checked his phone ten times before our food arrived.  While this is rapidly becoming acceptable social behavior in the “I’m so important” culture we have, I find it troubling.

I wonder what would happen if the next time our phone sends us an alert, we finished our conversation or we waited until we arrive at our destination before grabbing for it like a gunfighter from the old west grabbing for his gun.

Let us please remember that emails, incoming calls, and text messages won’t die if they are left unattended.  Social media addictions and communication distractions are real, so let us keep our hands on the wheel, finish our conversations and not be afraid to say hello to that person in line at Starbucks.  And one more thing….oh, wait…sorry…I have to answer my phone.  Until next time.  E.