I think smartphones are like fire: a faithful servant and a fearful master.
I couldn’t function in my job without one. Really they are great for quick access to information. My daughter asked me to take her to a store. I had no idea where it was, or when it closed. Boom…everything I needed was found in under a minute.
My daughter is a digital native with no concept of not being constantly connected electronically. I used the occasion of helping her with a paper to show her how we did it, back in the day. Library. Card catalog. Check out dead tree books. Search the index. Use 3x5 note cards.
After it was done, she said “the new way is easier, but the old way is better”. When I asked her why the old way was better she basically said that she learned more about the subject she studied because she was more actively engaged. She thought because using the web and search tools was easier and faster, she didn’t learn as much. I was happy with this exercise.
I think for me, I reached the same conclusion regarding relationships, as my daughter did on her paper. The new way (social media ) is easier, but the old way (active, person to person) is better. It’s better because it takes more work.
But I do try to unplug regularly. Go a day without it here and there. Go places where there’s no internet. Remind myself there was a time in my adult life when I actually functioned quite effectively, without instant connectivity.