Slave to Phone

11 Dec

I accompanied my other half to a hospital appointment this morning. Obviously, it was a tenatative step to take as he has a great dislike for anything medical/ clinical – GPs, dentists, visting people in hospitals etc. I tried to be as supportive as I could and we hardly said a word to one another during the waiting period. Sometimes, there is no neeed to…

So, we waited for about 20 minutes and my smartphone whistled a few times to inform me of recent Facebook/Twitter notifications. My immediate response to these alerts is to either respond or delete as appropriate. I thought nothing of it. However, my other half has a clear dislike for such gadgets and gave e a look of disdain, although feigning pretence that it didn’t bother him. Eventually, his name was called and in he went, to be seen by the doctor, whilst I was informed to wait in the seated area. In the meantime, I checked Facebook, made one or two commens on Twitter, and   checked the profiles of my new followers. I realised then how we, or some of us at least, are becoming or have become addictive to Social media and networks.  A few years ago, we would sit twiddling our thumbs, sit patiently or flick through a number of mundane magazines or dated issues of womens magazines, home and lifestyle or Men’s Health or the easy to read information leaflets, look out the window or stare at some image pinned to the wall. Now, we have a use for our fingers and thumbs and we feel so important and valued in our own little technological worlds which we have created for ourselves. No longer do we sit and feel inconspicuous or as if we are dissolved in the background…now, we email, chat, share jokes, pictures, images, listen to music, watch TV or play games or  search info on the various search engines, book appointments, tables in restaurants and anything else that we can do with the push of the button. It seems like it provides a sense of escapism, importance and purpose… I was so engrossed in “my world” that I forgot that I was here with my partner for what effectively could be a check up for a life threatening condition.

So, it came as no surprise that when T did come out of his appointment, he looked perturbed and annoyed at the same time, especially when I received several more FB messages from a colleague. The usual “who was it? What does he want?” questions followed and I responded. By now, my phone is alerting me to connect the charger. So, we decided to go shopping on the way home and T mentioned the fact he was really hungry as he hadn’t ate anything all morning as he was anxious about the appointment.  It’s not a bad idea, I said.

After we packed our shopping away, I checked my phone, gave a quick reply to a FB message and was just about to plug my charger in, when T walked in the room, saw me on the phone and ! saw red!!  You’re always on that phone!” I looked up and he was ready to go out again. “Where are you going?” I asked. Out! He said. Why? Because I’m sick of seeing you on that bloody phone! You’re always on that phone and I’m sick of it! And he stormed out! Is it me, or am I not being supportive enough? Am I being a slave to technology and becoming too engrossed with the whole FB and Twitter culture? I understand why some women, and in a few instances, men, would bemoan the fact that their partners spend more time on the net, Xbox, PS3, smartphone, gamestation or whatever “BoysToys” or gadgets they may have in their hands,  when they have children or other responsibilties or commitments. I used to offer my sympathy and offer suggestions as to how the situation could be improved. But now, I feel that it’s not just me with the “addiction”, but the moaning partner appears to have insecurities, jealous streaks, requires attention on  a regular basis and has low thresholds of patience and intolerance. I also feel, on both accounts, that if we could find more productive real time and “live activities” to contend with, which would allow more meaningful opportunities to enter our lives, I don’t think we’d have time for Technological Social Communications and the Smartphone would just become another gadget we could do without.

It’s just a thought…

The Learned Kat

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