I love my iPhone. I absolutely love it. There is no denying that. Just opening the perfect little Apple box was an experience I took in. Go ahead, laugh. Or mock.
At first it was just a new gadget and I spent lots of time searching for cool apps and playing words with friends, with friends. Friends like Pat Santavenere, who I ended up beating our first 9 games. Not that I was counting or anything.
I am a stay-at-home Mom who home schools, which means on most days I am in my dining room surrounded by books, correcting papers, reading Mystery of History, and chasing my little bandits around the living room. Having a 3 and 4 year old and then also a 10 and 13 year old makes for interesting "conversation gymnastics". One moment I'm explaining to baby girl why biting her brother is not a loving thing to do; the next moment I'm trying to answer a grammar question. Yes, it makes for a random day, every day.
The four walls can feel at times like they are closing in on me. My iPhone is my connection to the outside world.
In just seconds, I am able to virtually leave my four walls and reach into another stay-at-home Mom's four walls, right to her. Texting little things about our day, sharing the antics of one of our children in picture form, or just a little back and forth adult convo via text between friends. In short, it paves a way to connect with someone else and I appreciate that. It can actually bring sanity to some of my crazier days.
When I was smack in the middle of organizing the Run For Your Lives 5K, my iPhone became such a useful tool. I was able to correspond with people quickly through email and texting. Updates could be posted on Facebook immediately. Tweets could be tweeted. Documents I needed while out were available at my fingertips. If someone needed a contact, a few taps of my finger and it was done. Right then, right there.
Being relatively new to the world of smartphones and social media, I am learning that everyone has a different set of etiquette/manners when it comes to how and when we can whip out our iPhone or Droid or Blackberry.
What is considered rude by one person is considered perfectly fine by someone else.
So here are some questions I have been asking myself (and others) and now I want your feedback.
1- If you are meeting with someone - a friend, business partner, family member - anyone really, is it inconsiderate to read and respond to a text message? What about repeated text messages?
2- If you are in a store, going through a drive-through window, or someplace similar, is it inconsiderate to be talking on your phone or bluetooth device?
3- If you are hanging out with friends in a casual atmosphere at your home or watching a movie (key word: casual), is it inconsiderate to read and respond to ongoing text messages?
4- Are there times that you turn your phone off completely?
I still love my iPhone, probably even more than when we first met. But I shouldn't love it more than actual human beings. I confess that sometimes I do. After all, it does what I want and asks nothing of me. I certainly don't want others to feel that I don't value them or their time when they are with me, whether it's in a meeting context or just hanging out having fun.
All of this amazing technology provides far more ways to connect and interact with others. As an extrovert, it's dreamy. But it's also dangerous. After all, like every other good thing, it comes with challenges and temptations.
As a mom, my children are watching me. They are learning. They are taking their cues from what I do every day. My actions are teaching them what I value. This is incredibly important.
So please - help me out by sharing your thoughts!