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Friday, May 5, 2017

The Digital Divide


Its Friday! Yay! Unfortunately, it is very rainy here, and it feels like it has been for weeks! In fact, various parts of Canada are experiencing serious flooding because of all the rainfall. Enough with the April showers already, lets have some May flowers!

Anyways...

Unless you just started reading this blog, than you know I despise smartphones. I think they are going to destroy the world.

Perhaps you think I am exaggerating, but as a therapist I see how destructive they are to life and relationships. I will refrain from writing a whole diatribe about this here as I've done so before. Many times.

We are not a huge phone family. Adam and I were very slow to get smartphones and we don't use them much now that we do have them. I only use 3 apps on my phone. Instagram for my food business (because I was told EVERY food business must be on Instagram), The TTC app, so I know when the buses and streetcars are (not) coming, and the Green P app for parking in downtown Toronto. That's it. I only text with friends and families who only communicate via text (there seem to be a growing number!).


In any case, I find it absurd that everyone thinks they need one and need to be connected to it 24/7. When I see people walking down the street, or anywhere in public, absorbed in their phone, I want to smack it out of their hand. Sorry if that's you!
Big A, who is far more tech savvy than Adam or I (in fact, has a real gift for it) has been asking for a phone for a few years now. I have always scoffed and told her it isn't happening. Kids need smartphones? I think not!


But then Big A started getting more independent and walking and taking the bus places on her own. All of a sudden I started to see how having a phone might be useful. Adam has been saying for a while he wanted to get her one, but I still didn't think it was essential. Nevertheless, with her 11th birthday a few weeks away, Adam took her out to get her one. I was not thrilled, but to be honest, I almost immediately saw the benefit.

Yes, full admission, I love that Big A has a phone. In my professional work, I generally see how these stupid gadgets can be destructive, but I now see how they can sometimes have a positive affect.

Big A texts me several times a day, usually just to update me on where she is and what she's doing. But our exchanges have also become an opportunity for us to connect emotionally. She sends me emojis (I don't even know how you get emojis on your phone...is that an app?), and we send little notes to each other about how much we love each other. Yesterday she sent me one saying I am the best mom in the world! It made my heart melt.

When she texted me to tell me she made the school soccer team, I was able to text back that I was proud of her, but would be even if she hadn't made the team. She responded with kiss emojis.

I have to admit, I check my phone more frequently now, looking forward to her texts. So, like most things in the universe, I guess smartphones aren't all bad. That being said, if you are looking at yours while driving (I still see people doing this all the time!) or in any other inappropriate situation, I still think you are an asshole.

Have a nice weekend and put your phone down for 5 minutes, for goodness sakes!