John has four children. Three of them are very well-behaved. John is one of those parents who believes kids should learn good manners and be polite. Because of this, he’s taught them not to interrupt other peoples’ conversations. He’s taught them to say please when they ask for something, and thank you when they receive it. And, he’s taught them that they can not always be the center of attention.
But he’s only taught these ideas to three of his kids.
His fourth kid is a rebel.
The fourth child demands attention all the time, and unfortunately, John complies. This kid interrupts at the most inopportune times, but John acts like it’s no big deal.
Sometimes John’s fourth kid interrupts his other three–well behaved–kids. Although the other three have waited their turn for John’s attention, John lets his other child interrupt.
This kid is such a distraction, others have a hard time getting John’s undivided attention. But if anyone mentions this to John, he becomes very defensive. This child brings joy to his life, and it shouldn’t have to live by the rules he thinks everyone else should follow.
The funny thing is that John’s fourth kid isn’t a kid at all. It’s a smartphone.
It’s an interesting question to consider… what if you expected your smartphone to be as polite as your kids?
If one of John’s kids interrupted him as much as his smartphone, he’d think they were a problem child. And, if one of his kids started loudly singing the Star Wars theme at a funeral (as his smartphone recently did), he’d consider taking that child to therapy.
But John doesn’t seem bothered when his smartphone breaks all the rules. And he’s not alone. One recent poll found that 25% of individuals don’t mind taking and answering text messages while on the toilet. Even crazier, one in ten said they wouldn’t mind responding to a text message while having sex.
I’m not saying smartphones are bad, or that technology hasn’t improved our lives. I’m saying that if we have rules for our kids, and for ourselves, we should have rules for our phones.
If we have rules for when our kids can interrupt conversations, then we should make a phone rule too.
If we expect our kids to pay attention to the environment and act accordingly, we should do the same for our phones.
I strongly believe that if we don’t manage our technology, it’ll manage us.
What’s your opinion?