Last year on a Tuesday I took a look at our home phone in the kitchen, covered in dust and rarely used. I called the phone company on that day and cancelled our land line. It felt strange, but we just never used it now that we all have cell phones. I felt like we were heading out into the future.
My cell phone has a home button but … it is a strange thing now in my home and probably in yours. Before with the home phone, when ever it rang, you had no idea (except for the caller id) who the call was for. It created this anticipation in our home when ever the phone would ring. Could it be for me, for my wife or one of our daughters? Now with my cell phone with the home button, when my phone rings it is only for me. If you want to reach my wife, you need to call her cell phone. It is all good and … is what we are all used to but ... there is definitely a change that has and is taking place.
As of last year, Pew Research Center reported that 64% of americans owned a smart phone (up from 35% in 2011). We all know there are good things and bad things about this pervasive technology, but one thing is for sure: the mobile phone in your hand is not going away.
So why do we care? Can I blame the home button on my smart phone for making my home a less connected community? Can schools and businesses ban cell phones in hopes of limiting the distractions they bring?
Rather than demonizing the latest tech “solution” in our lives, could we instead unlock the potential in these devices? Rather than blaming the tool, can we all learn to be better stewards of this technology and model this for our children?
There are way more questions than answers. I want to know how to strategically integrate mobile media technology into our lives in a way that unleashes the power to communicate and connect while keeping a balance with healthy human interaction. I want to know how we can find advantages inherent in these devices that allow us to be focused on more than one conversation steam and … in effect be in more than one place at a time.
My home phone is packed away and … my home button is sometimes too quick to summon Siri, but we can only go forward and see where this new path will lead. Somewhere beyond the home phone and the home button I am confident we will get this all sorted out.