I recently downgraded my 14 year old son’s I-phone to my old Blackberry. As you might be imagining, this transition was not met with enthusiasm.
It’s funny because I used to love my Blackberry. I was a huge Blackberry fanatic – I adored those little keys, the pocket size unit and I’ve always been more of an email person than a texter. Mind you this was all before we were surfing the web 24/7, making the slow internet perfect for emergencies only.
As I’ve been sharing with friends about my son Jake’s “new phone.” Everyone seems to want to know how long this will last? I’m prepared for two months as T-mobile misquoted me the price for talk and text at $15/month.
The rep had to call me back and let me know I couldn’t add talk and text to my plan and the price for Blackberry service (any service actually) was $40/month. Yikes! Luckily he set up our plan to be $15 for 2 months.
That made it easy for me to go with trying out the Blackberry for the 2 months. From there, I may upgrade Jake’s phone dependent on how his general device consumption is compared to his groundedness.
I’m thinking a not so smart smartphone.
When Jake becomes an adult, I will have very little influence over what he does with his time. Right now, my job is to show him there are other ways to be.
Ways that do not require a device to be in hand all day long. This summer, we’ve upped his tennis play and he’s become quite taken with tennis and has excelled. I’d venture to say, he’s quite proud of himself and his hard work.
I’m very proud that Jake has taken ownership over his tennis play. This wouldn’t have happened had I let him continue on his own path where he would be in his room “doing homework” for hours.
By the final weeks of school, my sixth sense knew something needed to change and the change has been forth coming.
My intention is for Jake to experience groundedness and awareness, to experience his own wonder discovered through reading, playing… tennis or Magic or in nature. My hope is for him to experience more play and socialization outside of headphones in a room or smartphone.
My thoughts about cell phones for teens and adults too actually, goes something like this: It’s too easy for them/us to be glued to our phones and not have any gaps in our days.
You know how when you break up with someone how you need space to process? You think about what was so great about you guys and what went wrong before you move on to the next Mr. or Mrs. Perfect, right?
The key words here are space & process. With cell phone in hand (device), I think it’s becoming more and more challenging for any of us to process anything unless we make it a point to do so.
I read another sad story about a dad leaving his babies in the car the other day. Both babies died. The dad is completely devastated as is the whole family. My heart goes out to all of them.
It made me think NOT of cell phones but just that many of us are so distracted. We have too many things going on and we are not taking time for gaps and to recenter ourselves.
A girlfriend shared with me that her husband can’t stop playing video games even when he’s driving. She also has difficulty communicating with him as he cannot take his eyes and attention off his device.
What if we all went back to vintage Blackberries where we couldn’t access Netflix and Youtube and fancy games all day long?
Perhaps we need to go back a little further than that to flip phones so we aren’t able to access emails all day long either.
We’d have a lot of uncomfortable people (including me), that’s for sure. Our fingers have become so accustomed to having a device in hand looking at whatever it is that we look at -anything other than what is actually in front of us.
What if we all traded our smartphones in for a simple flip phone?