The Infernal Machine (aka My Smartphone)

The last few Daily Prompts have been thoroughly uninspiring, so I tried the new “try another prompt” functionality and it sent me to February 5, 2013 when the prompt was:

“Describe your relationship with your phone. Is it your lifeline, a buzzing nuisance, or something in between?”

I normally carry two phones when I’m not on an Unplugged Weekend. One is an Android smartphone, and the other is a not-so-smart Blackberry.

I kind of hate them both. I prefer my Nokia dumb phone, which does nothing but calls and SMS. (And it has a flashlight!)

I’ve been carrying a Blackberry for around fifteen years now, ever since I started my corporate career. It was required, I had no choice. Then it became a security blanket as I succumbed to the Crackberry epidemic, with colleagues on the other side of the world (12 hour time difference) sending emails that were signaled by the infernal machine’s red blinking “you’ve got mail” light. I had to slowly wean myself off the thing when my health started to fail due to lack of sleep, which started by turning off the red light of death, then turning the phone off completely during sleep hours. (My boss was not impressed, but I’d rather that than the hospital, or the morgue.)

The smartphones of today are far more insidious. Since they function as an alarm clock, they find a way into your bed, under the pillow or on the night stand. Don’t do it. You’ll find yourself on email or, more likely, social media at all times. It’s the Crackberry to the nth power. The information overload will fry your brain eventually. And it’s back to the irregular sleep patterns, loss of REM rest, and the consequent health declines.

So it’s a love-hate relationship. I love the flexibility and portability of the devices, but they need to be treated like a poisonous snake especially if you can’t stay away from social media. The smartphones are not welcome in the bedroom. I have a traditional alarm clock that’s just as effective. And I need to go and sweep the phone again to uninstall all the games that I downloaded over the past month, as I do every month.

If you’re not careful, the Angry Birds will eventually kill you.


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