My smartphone is broken but maybe that’s not bad

My smartphone has been dead since Friday morning when it didn’t wake me up to get the kids off to school. (Michael was out of town on business, and I woke up on my own at 6:53 a.m. with Walsh’s carpool ride sitting outside my house and Lilina’s ride coming in 17 minutes.)

My smartphone is my phone, camera, internet, calendar and alarm clock to remind me to do important things like pick up my children. It also entertains me while waiting in carpool with Candy Crush, Facebook and Twitter.

I was pretty upset that my smartphone let me down. My irritation continued on Saturday when I couldn’t revive it and had to make sure the babysitter had Michael’s number in her phone and vice versa.

However, when we arrived at the wedding that night it was very liberating not to have a phone. I didn’t feel the need to check it all the time or document everything by video or photography. I just enjoyed the company, food, drink and music.

It still wasn’t working on Sunday so Monday I took it in to the store.  I was a little bit worried about what if a school needed to get me and I couldn’t talk to a friend while I walked, but it was kind of nice not to have it.

My youngest had a ballet demonstration Monday afternoon, and it was again very liberating not to be “shooting” the event for my husband or parents but just to sit there and enjoy her “dancing.” I say dancing loosely – there was a lot of tummy scratching and pulling her leotard out of her behind. But I enjoyed every minute of it, while the other parents shot if for posterity – or Facebook. Also one mom’s phone started ringing during the performance.

Louis C.K. did a bit for HBO comedy special about parents with the ipads literally covering their faces shooting their kids’ performances. (Here is a You Tube video of the bit. It does have a few curse words and is gross at the end.)

From a Facebook fan page for Louis C.K. quotes:

“My daughter was having a dance thing at her school. They had this big dance. Anyway, we all went, all the parents, and everybody’s there, and everybody’s got their phone, every single parent. It was an amazing thing to watch ’cause kids are and every parent is standing there like this. Every single person was blocking their vision of their actual child with their phone, and the kids– I went over by the stage and the kids– there’s people holding iPads in front of their faces. It looked like we’re all in the witness protection program. Like, the kids can’t see their parents, and everybody’s watching a @#@#$ movie Of something that’s happening ten feet. Like, look at your @#$#$ kid. The resolution on the kid is unbelievable if you just look. It’s totally HD. Why are you taping this? You’re never gonna watch it. In a million years, you’re not gonna watch videos Of your kids doing shit you missed the first time it happened. You don’t watch it. You just put it on facebook. “here, you watch it. I wanna take a nap now.” And then you get to read all the comments.

- “my God! It’s so cute! Ngaah!”

And guess what? They’re not watching it, either. They’re not watching the video. These kids are dancing for no one. Nobody watches the videos on your Facebook. They see the first frame of a kid and they go:

- “that’s very nice. Ok. Back to this.”

It gets dirtier from there but I think for the most part he is right on. (I will click on the Vine videos of my cousin’s baby but she is really cute.)

I’m not going to give up my smartphone, but I think my four-day hiatus will make me rethink how much I use it. I will put it down at events and try not to feel the need to document everything.

Did it not happen if you didn’t take a photo of it? How many photos do you have on your smartphone? Do you think people are watching your videos? Do you watch your kids’ events through the screen of your phone or do you really watch it? Could you cut back on your smartphone usage?

32 comments Add your comment

Beck

October 1st, 2013
5:47 am

#firstworldproblems

It’s okay to live in the moment and not have to be entertained all the time and/or document every single thing.

catlady

October 1st, 2013
5:48 am

The moral here? Don’t be a slave to your electronics. Live in the Real World. Be Present in life.

Who let the dogs in

October 1st, 2013
6:02 am

Curse words? As like a witch putting a curse on you? What?

Who let the dogs in

October 1st, 2013
6:07 am

And what was the gross part?

Mother of 2

October 1st, 2013
6:19 am

My family live far away and actually enjoy watching short video of the kids doing this and that. I take a few photos, and very short video. When my smart phone died, I realized that it wasn’t such a bad thing. I do not drag it everywhere and everyone knows that I either turn it off or intentionally leave it behind when I’m doing certain things. I’m happy to report that my kids aren’t slaves to their electronics either. My husband, on the other hand, is a different story.

A

October 1st, 2013
6:47 am

The other moral of the story is to have backups. I set my phone alarm and the alarm built into the docking station I have on my nightstand to get me up in the morning. I also have my phone set up so when I enter a contact’s number, a calendar item or a reminder, it shows up on my computer in Outlook and also online at Outlook.com. So if any one of my electronics dies on me, I’m not totally lost. That said, it is good to unplug once in a while and it’s definitely good not to be that person who is constantly looking at their phone when at a child’s activity or really any other event.

Me

October 1st, 2013
7:03 am

Well, I obviously use my smartphone in a far different manner. I rarely take photos with it as, if I’m somewhere and wish to capture that time in photos or videos I have my Nikon. For ad hoc situations I guess I might use it but I don’t have, need, or care for Facebook. I don’t play games on my device although I do text (to an extreme) and, when absolutely necessary, use it as an actual phone. I also use quite a few apps for travel, weather, etc.
When at HS graduation earlier this year, I did see quite a few either taking pictures or recording the ceremony and, to your point, thought it odd they were hiding their face with their iPad.
My trusty Nikon takes far, far, better pictures and, instead of recording the evening on an iPad, simply paid $20 for a DVD recorded in full HD.

motherjanegoose

October 1st, 2013
7:35 am

@ Who… please check out my comment to you from yesterday. Thank you.

^^^^ @ Beck and catlady….YES!

I am frustrated when I am with people who are addicted to their phone and cannot carry on a conversation or just enjoy whatever else we are doing without electronics.

I read this ( below) last week . I have Facebook friends who post ALL DAY LONG: I walked my dog…my baby had gas…I went to Lowes…yes, those are actual comments.

I love seeing pictures of friends and even reading what they are up to but some people need to have a hobby if they do not have a job to keep them busy IMHO.

This is interesting:
http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/facebook-addiction-signs/

Techmom

October 1st, 2013
7:57 am

I can’t stand people who use their iPad to take pictures. Seriously people, what about everyone behind you! It’s terribly distracting even if you don’t entirely block my view.

I’d like to know how many people ever print the pictures from their phones let alone back them up… one day Facebook will be obsolete, where will all your cherished pictures be then?

DB

October 1st, 2013
9:21 am

It’s like that commercial for a phone, that has all the parents taking pictures at a school play — I think it’s hilarious, but it’s so TRUE!

I love photography, but I’m not really into documenting my life. We took a LOT of pictures in China, but there were a lot of other things that I simply didn’t get a picture of because I was having too much fun enjoying them. (The dinner on top of the hotel overlooking the Bund? Not a single pic. Too beautiful for a mere picture to capture.) Out of the hundreds of pictures we took in China, we’re in the process of winnowing it down to 50 or 100 that tell the story of our stay there for a photobook. An interesting process . . .

Techmom, I’m with you on the iPad — why in the hell would someone want to tote that thing around for PICTURES?

Mayhem

October 1st, 2013
9:33 am

I would die without my smart phone, only because it has so much information on it. I don’t remember anyone’s phone numbers anymore, I keep my grocery list, Christmas and birthday lists, my calendar all on my phone.

That said, I can and do leave the darn thing alone most of the day, especially the weekends. But when I think about something I need, or need to do, I grab my phone and make a note.

I fear losing my phone more than any thing else I possess. Lol.

Mayhem

October 1st, 2013
9:35 am

And I will admit I take tons of pics with my phone too. And I do get some of them printed (that Walgreens app is amazing) and I do back them up on my computer. I don’t put many photos on FB. But I am the family photographer. I also have a nice Nikon camera too. I love taking pictures.

jmb

October 1st, 2013
10:24 am

For nearly 2 years I had a Android that would not pick up once I pulled into my driveway or anywhere in my house. I couldn’t make calls, internet or anything else. At first I found it a real pain but only for a few days. I actually came to enjoy the quite time at home with nothing interupting me. Even my friends and family got used to not being able to reach me after work hours. If it were something important though they all had my husbands number and I still had the home PC they could email me on. So two months ago I broke down and got a new phone and this one does work at home. Slowly my friends found out they could connect with me while at home and now it’s back to ringing or texts coming in all the time and I’ve actully regretted the new phone lately. I’ve never been one to keep my phone glued to me so I guess it wasn’t as hard on me as it would be some but to all that’s never tried it I say give it a shot if even for a weekend and you will realize just how much you are truly missing with your family.

Upset Mom

October 1st, 2013
10:33 am

I’m sorry your phone is broken but I can’t believe this is the topic you chose for today. 800K federal workers are sitting home unpaid, including 68% of the CDC here in Atlanta. Millions more have their pay deferred until Congress can get off its behind and pass a new budget. The majority of those federal workers are parents and your biggest problem is your smart phone is broken? WOW.

motherjanegoose

October 1st, 2013
10:47 am

@ Upset…I am not intelligent on economics nor politics ( I defer to DB as she is) but I cannot understand WHY some folks do not get this:

Money comes from people NOT THE GOVERNMENT. There is not a closet full of it.
When money is being doled out, it has to come from somewhere. Companies are realizing that they cannot afford things the government is asking of them and they are nervous. Many are cutting healthcare benefits to spouses, when the employee has been paying for it for YEARS and not asking for FREE healthcare.

I read that CA is going to raise the minimum wage to $10.00. So, in order to pay these people those wages…pricing will go up in their place of employ: Mc Donald’s Wal Mart Kwik Trip etc.

I visited Alaska and was told that they do not have THE DOLLAR STORE. They have the $1.50 store. WHY? Because it costs more to ship things there and they cannot make a profit on a DOLLAR.

WHO has the answer…not me!

People tend to scream when it is affecting them. There are THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE who have been screaming they are tired of paying taxes and that has not worked in the last election. There are lots of other people who are thrilled to just take a handout. That cannot last forever either.

WitchyWoman

October 1st, 2013
10:57 am

@ Upset Mom, maybe Theresa thought people needed a break from the constant talk about it. It is on the front page of almost every major news outlet, all the t.v. news, and even the radio. Its also possible that she did this yesterday and it posted at midnight.

I lost my phone a few years ago. I was so heartbroken. It had pictures that I hadn’t backed up yet on it as well has contacts. It was hilarious to see people’s reactions when I would tell them. There were gasping and a few people clutched their chests. I realized then that no device should be that important to me. So now I make sure I have back ups for everything and cut it off when I am somewhere where I need to be present (mind and body). I love my current phone, but I can live without it. As for people contacting me at home…well we still have a land line. Yeah I know, but when you’ve been through several hurricanes that produced spotty or no cell service like I have you happily pay that 10 bucks for the ability to reach a love one or have them reach you.

WitchyWoman

October 1st, 2013
11:00 am

Sorry for all typos in my last post. Curse these drunkin fingers!

Upset Mom

October 1st, 2013
11:11 am

Motherjanegoose – the point isn’t what Congress should or shouldn’t fund. Their number one priority is to PASS A BUDGET TO RUN THE COUNTRY. They have failed to do that because they can’t cooperate across party lines. This means the Smithsonian is closed, the CDC is operating at only essential staff, National Parks are closed, teachers on federal installations aren’t getting paid in a timely fashion. I don’t care if they fund ACA or not. Leaving thousands upon thousands of families without paychecks because congress didn’t do their job is simply unacceptable.

motherjanegoose

October 1st, 2013
11:14 am

@ Witchy…when you have placed all your trust in an electronic device and it has failed you, you remind yourself why you still go to the AAA office to get a FREE map of the area, since you have been a member for 17 years…haha! I still cannot figure out why I drop calls when I am on I 85 IN GWINNETT/HALL COUNTY GA. Anyone with ATT know?

motherjanegoose

October 1st, 2013
11:21 am

@ Upset…the point ( to me and I can be dense) is that some things upset one group of people and some things upset others. We DO NOT all get upset over the same things. We work together. Sometimes people cannot do this.

Techmom

October 1st, 2013
11:22 am

@Mayhem, I am the same way. I use my Nikon for stuff I really want to capture and use the phone for every day fun stuff when carrying around a camera isn’t convenient. I just know lots of people who solely rely on their phone as their camera and I doubt they’re doing anything other than posting to social media.

As for my phone, I do think I’d feel lost without it to a certain extent but I do love it when we get beyond the boundaries of it sometimes. It’s just nice not to feel like I need to stay connected and keep up with everyone. But I’d be up a creek too if I ever needed a number let alone directions!

Techmom

October 1st, 2013
11:39 am

@Upset Mom – two of the other AJC blogs are talking about the gov’t shut down:
http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/kyle-wingfield/2013/oct/01/federal-government-shuts-down-18th-time-37-years/

Techmom

October 1st, 2013
11:40 am

And since I can only post 1 link per comment (even though they’re both ajc links!):

http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/jay-bookman/2013/oct/01/who-put-handcuffs-boehner-these-guys-did/

Once Again

October 1st, 2013
11:59 am

Be sure to keep it turned off with the battery out so the NSA can’t track you at least. The police state was not furloughed with the rest of the non-essential government types.

Oldie But Goodie

October 1st, 2013
12:06 pm

How about if your phone isn’t a smart phone??Everyone else assumes you have one and they send you multimedia messages that you can’t open…..So will I be forced to get a smart phone just so I can get messages about my daughter’s cheerleading practices??? I don’t want to pay $200 per month so we can keep up with the Jones’s!

Techmom

October 1st, 2013
12:20 pm

@Oldie but Goodie – are they sending videos with the messages about practices? And if you’re paying $200 a month for a smart phone, something is wrong.

Who let the dogs in

October 1st, 2013
6:14 pm

@ Who… please check out my comment to you from yesterday. Thank you.

—————————————————————————————————————-

Which one? You have numerous comments. Most contain the words “I” and “me”…..back to my point of your self absorbed nature.

Not With It

October 1st, 2013
7:38 pm

I don’t have a smartphone. Still have the standard cell phone I got years ago since it still works. Still have the non flat box TV I bought in early 2000s since it still works. Don’t have a lot of technology post 2006. I travel internationally for my job and somehow I get on the plan on time and navigate the cities without getting fired or divorced. And i wake up for my daughter gets to school on time when I’m home as well.

motherjanegoose

October 1st, 2013
8:12 pm

@ Who…YOU might be better off coming up with something YOU can share that is interesting instead of criticizing other posts or posters.

I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.
Charles Schwab

Kat

October 1st, 2013
8:41 pm

We don’t realize how “important” things are until we no longer have them. Theresa’s phone is important to her – I assume you tried the dried rice technique already? Also, the government is important to those who work for it and those who utilize its services.

DB

October 1st, 2013
11:09 pm

I didn’t have a smartphone in China for two months — it was kinda nice. We did have a virtual private network — my husband’s job required internet access that sometimes was in conflict with China’s internet censors, and when he’d finish, we’d hop on Facebook to post photos and keep up with family via messages and email. But yeah, it felt pretty good to turn my Galaxy S3 back on when we hit the U.S. :-)

I have all my phone pictures (sometimes need to take photos for work, sometimes don’t have my camera) backed up to a free DropBox account that I can access from anywhere.

Re; the government shut down. While annoying and inconvenient, the shutdown does not worry me nearly as much as the debt ceiling debate that is coming up in 16 days. The shutdown is an effective distraction, and for one party to say, “Oh, give us what we want, and we’ll negotiate over the debt ceiling” is just inviting them to later say, “SUCKERS! Negotiate THIS!”, as it has been made quite clear that the administration would rather negotiate with Syria, Russia and Iran than with its own citizens. There is no trust anymore, and I find that sad. Financial responsibility means making difficult and painful decisions.

motherjanegoose

October 2nd, 2013
5:58 am

DB…thank you for your thoughtful comment:

Financial responsibility means making difficult and painful decisions.

Many people do not want difficult nor painful in their lives…that is only for other people.