Are There Any Limits On Your Smartphone?

Perhaps you have seen the video called “I Forgot My Phone.” The 2 minute video, which as of today has been viewed almost 20 million times, starts with a young couple laying in bed with the woman staring off into space while the guy looks at his phone. The rest of the video then follows the woman throughout a day in which she forgot her phone. It’s not a pretty sight. She’s ignored at lunch while her friends check their phones, watches a man propose while videoing his girlfriend’s reaction, and then on a night out with friends at a bowling alley no one celebrates with her when she bowls a strike because they were on their phones and didn’t see it. There’s more but you get the point. It ends with the woman back in the same bed and her boyfriend still looking at his phone.

The video is uncomfortable to watch because it doesn’t resort to hyperbole. It’s an accurate picture of our lives but one we have difficulty seeing.

“I came up with the idea for the video when I started to realise how ridiculous we are all being, myself included, when I was at a concert and people around me were recording the show with their phones, not actually watching the concert,” deGuzman said in an interview. 

“It makes me sad that there are moments in our lives where we’re not present because we’re looking at a phone,” said deGuzman, who also wrote the piece, which was directed by Miles Crawford.

A New York Times article points out that a generation or two ago families brought televisions into the kitchen so that they could watch while they ate dinner together. But eventually everyone recognized that that wasn’t such a good idea and television, while still almost inescapable, was at least removed from the family dinner. Are smartphones going to have that same moment when we realize that it’s not a good idea to have them out during __________ (you fill in the blank)?

Are there any times in your life when you have decided to rule the phone off limits? How about when on a walk with your spouse, in a conversation with your kids, at a meal with friends? Any boundaries at all?

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