• author
    • Kaila Charice

    • May 16, 2014 in Columnists

    Airplane mode

    I’ve been noticing myself doing something scary lately. At first, I thought it was “normal,” especially in today’s world, but then I thought about it a bit more. Lately, no matter what I’ve been doing, I’ve had my phone in my hand. Now that doesn’t sound like something tremendously terrible, but it got to such an excessive point that I was starting to drive myself mad. I could be walking from my car to a coffee shop, eating dinner, or even just watching a movie, and my phone was always in my hand, or within arms’ reach.

    Having a couple of jobs in social media, one might think this makes sense; your phone is your “office.” However, when you start checking Facebook and notice there is nothing new in your newsfeed, you realize that it’s not that imperative you know what someone is doing right that moment or what they’re having for lunch. You notice there’s so much you’re missing out on, like seeing the people around you, noticing just how enjoyable the meal is that you’re eating, or really paying attention to what’s happening in the movie.

    Technology seems to play such an important role in our lives. I feel like every week there’s a new type of social media app trending, and it’s getting ridiculous. I’ll admit to having a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but that’s it. I get asked all of the time if I Snapchat or Tinder, and I’ve heard of countless other apps for dating, shopping, and even just rating people based on looks. I think that one is called Hot or Not. Why is that even a thing?! And can’t that be done mentally when you just pass by someone; is it really necessary to upload your photos to a site where people can score you based on how attractive they think you are?

    I digress. To each their own.

    Anyway, when I started realizing that I couldn’t get through an episode of whatever Netflix series I happened to be watching without checking my phone every few minutes, I started doing this wonderful thing. Our smartphones have this setting called “Airplane mode.” It’s glorious. It shuts down your phone without turning it off. It makes it so that you don’t receive any texts, calls, or app notifications until you switch it back off, and it takes a lot less time to turn on and off than restarting your phone, yet you can still listen to music and write in the “notes” section. Basically, it shuts down all of the social aspects to your phone.

    Now if I’m having family time, working on something career related, or just eating a meal I put my phone in Airplane mode. It’s helped me refocus and concentrate on my own happenings instead of everyone else’s. I’ve also started putting my phone in my purse or jacket pocket when I go somewhere instead of always holding it in my hand or setting it out on the table. Yes, I do need access to it frequently for work, but I can certainly finish a meal or drink a cup of coffee and then call someone back!

    There’s this strange sense of urgency I’ve noticed that overwhelms a lot of people whenever their phones go off. Technological advancements are wonderful and make conversing with people much easier and sometimes much faster, but not every phone beep, text message, email, or app notification is an emergency requiring immediate attention. I feel like just because we can respond immediately much of the time we feel we have to, and that’s simply not the case. If I go out and meet someone for coffee, I want to spend time with that person and enjoy his/her company. I don’t go out with someone to just have another body there while I check my phone.

    • Well said. When I go out, my phone is off and in my purse. I want to enjoy my friends.

      • Maya North

      • May 19, 2014 at 9:00 pm
      • Reply

      If I’m not with daughter and granddaughter I keep it on in case they’re having an emergency. If they’re with me, I’m with them.

    • I hate “smart phones”. I allow myself to sit on the computer, but, when I am not on the computer…..facebook is at home. period. Not to mention, all of the car accidents that are caused by delayed reactions! Great column, kaila! 🙂

      • Deborah Tuhy

      • May 26, 2014 at 9:32 am
      • Reply

      This is a great piece. Thank you…

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