I had a column in Saturday 18th May GT lift out from the Geelong Advertiser, so for those who missed it, here it is.
I was reading last week that comedian DJ Hughsey decided to go on a smart phone detox after losing his kids for a few minutes in a park when he was distracted. He switched to a regular old call making phone instead. He found a few benefits; he called his wife instead of playing on the phone when he had spare time and felt he was more involved in work meetings.
It got me thinking about the whole topic and I can tell you categorically that I have no desire to ever go on a smart phone detox. I never want to go back to my LBI (life before iphone). I love my iphone I really do. My son is doing a catastrophic chart at school this week where they have a scale of 1 to 10 of how bad something really is. For example a bird pooping on your head is 1 and getting eaten by a shark is 10. He was looking fro a number 4 or 5 and I suggested losing your iphone/ipod. He looked at me oddly and said that was clearly a number 1. Are you kidding???? I would much rather a bird poop on my head then lose my phone. I would rather go without chocolate or wine than lose that thing.
LBI was difficult and laborious and at times boring. How many times were you stuck at a doctors office with magazines dating back to when the Spice Girls were hot and cigarettes were not bad for your health? Waiting at a tram stop for a tram that was meant to come 20 minutes ago and I have no reading material and terrified to duck across the road for a drink and a magazine in fear of the tram whizzing by. LAI (life after iphone) means whilst waiting at the doctors I can plan that nights dinner, do my banking, catch up on emails, catch up on the daily news and check the weather report for tomorrow. Stuck waiting for public transport, no sweat, just look up on one of my zillion apps and see when the next tram will be arriving and pop on over and get that magazine to save my sanity.
My kids think I am pretty smart in LAI, they ask me a tricky question and I can google it then and there and give them an answer. “I am glad you asked, the Titanic sunk in 1912” No waiting till we get home to check the Encyclopedia Britannica or a visit to the Library. What about assignments? Need a picture of the pyramids? Google that thing and print it off remotely to the printer whilst stirring the dinner pot.
We were recently on a family trip in the United States. I had a phone for the duration with full data coverage, which these days really should be the norm whilst travelling. I realized we just don’t operate on the same level we did in LBI. At Los Angeles Airport our terminal was under construction, it was Easter Sunday and there were no staff around and we had no idea where to go for our shuttle. I googled the company, looked up the information and we were on our way. Each night when we were looking for a place to eat, we accessed YELP and found out what was close by and could read the reviews. It was spring break at Disneyland and the queues were crazy, I downloaded an app with Wait Times for rides. They would vary all day long so this was amazing; we could change plans and head for the ride with the shortest line. Total Gold when time is precious.
I may be sharing a little too much information but after 3 children including a set of twins, making it through an entire movie without a visit to the ladies room is near impossible. Can you imagine my excitement when I found an app called RunPee, you find your movie press start when the movie begins and it will alert you to when is the best time to go pee (most boring part)…..I am serious and you can thank me later…..it will then give you a synopsis of what you missed. Genius and that app alone is worth the purchase of an iphone.
So my question to you is, Where do you sit on the Catastrophe Chart when it comes to Life Without your device?