Tuesday, March 11, 2014

smart phones, stupid relationships

my phone is a "dumbphone" which should be the opposite of a smartphone simply because the latter has internet access, a big touch screen (or the tiniest keys ever) and in some cases people who own one of the larger smartphones look like they're taking a nap on a book while making a phone call...

i've been thinking a lot lately about smartphones and their use, why do people buy smartphones to start with? if you have enough extra money and you can afford the latest technological device then why not! own a trendy gadget because manufacturers had YOU in mind when they proudly developed and announced the arrival of their baby, but what really makes me wonder is the way people with less money prioritize their expenditure. what on earth could make the purchase of a smartphone more important than adding another piece of furniture to my almost-empty apartment so EVERYONE in the family can benefit from? this question leads to a series of other questions like: how much money am i giving to people who can't afford essentials like bread or clothes? (street children, Syrian refugees... you name it) when was the last time i donated to NGO's who look after these marginalized people? or hospitals and research centers or orphanages and old people's homes? speaking of homes, let's not look too far away, will speak of my own family members, don't my children's have certain essential needs which i can't afford? YET i miraculously find enough money for a smartphone and i go and purchase one!!!

it's none of my business how people spend the money they have, or the money they don't have, but it became increasingly MY BUSINESS once i found out that the reason people claim smartphones to be on top of the "bare necessities" list is the need to STAY IN TOUCH, it's essential for communication, specially when you have relatives and friends living overseas, you need the cheapest fastest latest chatting apps that can only be added to or included in an expensive smartphone

oh, so let's say i bought this device (which means more yelling at my kids if they dare touch it) to stay in touch with loved ones, to maintain SMART relationships, and have instant communication options with everybody (which is also important for my job... i won't get into that, then i'll lose my position and no one else will tell you about my theory)

i did not buy one, yet, so i can only speak from an "outsider's" point of view and let me tell you, straight forward, about a fact that i've discovered and am willing to prove by statistics and scientific evidence:
YOUR SMARTPHONE is gradually unknowingly leading you to STUPID RELATIONSHIPS

when a person like myself, sits at a real computer with a real keyboard and types one line after the other to just say hi, or check how my friends and relatives (near and far) are doing, or answer somebody's question, or comment on something/photos someone shared... this is the first step of a REAL communication in a REAL relationship

ok, only face-to-face conversations should classify as REAL in that sense, but when mail appeared back in the 16?? 's written letters joined the club as an essential means of communication (different forms of mail existed way before that but wasn't accessible to the public), so people exchanged letters via postal mail and waited for long months to receive a reply. i remember even my uncle when he was in love with his wife, they were in their twenties (just a couple of years ago, if you're reading khalo!) he bought a set  of stamps and red wax so he could stamp and seal his letters to his love in a romantic way

later on, e-mail stepped into the picture, then online chatting... so the natural development of relationships embraced these new "revolutionary inventions" or means of communication upgrading ways to maintaining a REAL relationship... so nowadays when somebody like me is trapped alone at home most days with two kids under 5 (add to it other factors of lack of family and friends support due to several reasons) then one way to fight back your terrible loneliness is to digitally stay in touch with human beings (if you have no idea what it means to be a lonely mother you can save your time, stop reading, and go do something else)

if you decided to continue reading, then you either identify (even if just partially) with what i'm saying, or you're interested in knowing more about my "smartphone = stupid relationships" theory. so let me tell you why i'm starting to hate smartphones more than ever (for however long they've existed so far)

imagine two people: person number 1 sitting at a REAL computer trying to have a REAL conversation (typed) with person number 2 (according to the above definition of "real"). person number 1 clicks "send" to a long detailed message (usually containing deep feelings and thoughts shared with and entrusted to person number 2 or an answer to what pn2 asked or a new question) the reply scenario can be one of the following:

(note that this is limited to facebook examples since i've never used whats app yet ..or a bunch of other stuff)

scenario A:
pn2 receives the message INSTANTLY wow
pn1 sees "seen NOW" appear at the bottom of the inbox message
pn2 is too busy to reply
pn1 thinks that pn2 surely went into a coma / much like hanging up during a phone conversation, it triggers a VERY similar feeling, trust me

scenario B:
pn2 sees the comment or timeline post and hits like
pn1 cheers up upon seeing the thumbs up, and??? then what???

scenario C:
pn2 types the fewest letters possible "ok" or "thnx", unintentionally being so stingy (opposite of generous) in terms of time, interest, and words
pn1 needs a higher IQ score to magically find out if it's a "yes thank you" or a "no thank you" answer, or to figure out where this "ok" is meant to be, where does it belong, after which line or paragraph or page (well a "page" is an exaggeration... or maybe not) amid what pn1 shared

scenario D:
pn2 politely replies with a line or two MAX, really fast, remember, pn2 is too busy to spend time actually using their smartphone or it's annoying to type on a touch screen or it's too small and uncomfortable... etc.
pn1 feeds on these breadcrumbs, actually the relationship does, so pn1 wonders if pn2 still consider that they are two FRIENDS then maybe they'll MEET soon to make up for this DIET and have a REAL conversation, with proportionate parts offered by both sides of this assumed friendship

scenario E:
pn2 types something around these words: "got your message, i'm using my phone, will write later"
pn1 waits for a few hours or a few days for a REAL reply which never sees the light

i could speak of scenarios F till Z, and each one of them is more painful, believe it or not, than the other. yes it's painful when you invest so much time and energy in a relationship (the best you could because you don't have the luxury of going out for a coffee with your friends) and what happens in return? you silently sit and watch what smartphones are doing to your investment. pn1s are seen to be people who have nothing else to do but sit at their computers and type all day long 24/7 ... losers... they are so FREE and so NOT important because they're not busy enough to apply for a VIP tattoo awarded on their foreheads

one might think that this pn1 is so lonely and bored and much in need for REAL human contact to find the time to sit at a computer and do what s/he does, while on the other hand pn2 is so busy going about her/his busy and full life doing more important things

truth is, pn1 gets on and off of her/his computer, and in between these REAL communication periods of time they lead a REAL-smartphone-free LIFE, while pn2 is an addict, with beeps coming out of their phones constantly with every breath they take, awake or asleep, anywhere and everywhere at ALL times... and THIS is not a life or a REAL way to live... and THE very famous "abundant life" was never meant to include or be messed up by smartphones (the Bible is old fashioned so forget about abundant lives)... i won't get into the details of how smartphones are ruining relationships inside the family, affecting marriages and putting a modern chic end to friendships... i'm not exaggerating here, watch this video and you might understand why... (btw i don't drink Coca Cola and i'm not advertising for their so called "social media guard", but the video is definitely worth watching)

if you already have a SMARTPHONE or contemplating buying one, i'm not against that, and i myself might do that one day, but i hope that you'll be aware of certain new diseases that gradually find their way into our lives. i hope this awareness will lead you to decide to be a SMART USER not allowing your communication devise to lead you to having a DUMP LIFE and STUPID RELATIONSHIPS

photo cutline: for some, leading a REAL life can mean watching the washing machine!
P&Y&baby Luke arranged their chairs ready for the show, then P left his laptop and Y left her purse to go do something else, baby Luke stayed till it was time for a standing ovation, i.e. the washer's cute melody at the end of a well-done job

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