Do you know anyone who does not have a smartphone?

February 7, 2018

I can count the number of people I know who do not own a smartphone on one hand, and have fingers leftover. They are prolific and it feels like everyone has one. They are also disturbingly addictive. For instance, do you pull yours out when in line at the grocery checkout, instead of browsing the magazines? In the waiting room at the doctor's office? When your spouse goes to the restroom when you're having dinner out? At stoplights?! Probably. And worse, are you reading less actual books? I've noticed I do a lot more reading on screens at home when I used to read magazines or books. Are you present and in the moment at dinner with friends or family? I'm still good at this one. But I think it's important for grown ups to let go of their phones and focus more on what's happening around them. This is tough to do when that immediate gratification fix is just moments away.

Where it's getting really tough is with kids. A friend of mine recently said they had to take all the screens away from their 13 year old boy because he was becoming an a**hole. Her word, not mine! And when they did it, he was furious. She likened it to a junkie needing his fix. And kids are watching how their parents use technology. So, what kind of example are you setting?


The people I know who don't have smartphones do have flip phones and they are not less informed or difficult to reach. My mom is one of them -- she hates seeing people glued to their phones everywhere she goes and when I wanted to buy her one for her birthday (so we could text and stuff) she said no way! Because I can't text her, I call her. Which is what she likes anyway. Warren Buffet and Anna Wintour do not have smartphones. Chuck Schumer uses a flip phone and says it's rude when people whip out their smartphones during a meeting. He's right and I bet your boss does it all the time. Chris Pine (hubba, hubba) has a flip phone. He says texting with it is such a hassle that he usually ends up just calling the person instead. Vince Vaughan doesn't even carry a cell phone so he's always borrowing one from his friends when he needs to make a call. How do you suppose he remembers all the phone numbers?