Life & Work

Does entering the digital age mean abandoning simplicity?

IPhones were free yesterday, so we ordered them for most of the family. I’ve ordered one of the last Typo keypads available now that the maker is locked in a legal dispute with Blackberry. We are at the point where certain kinds of texts do not make it through to our flip phones, so we are obliged to move into the digital age at last.

While most of the family is thrilled, I find myself grieving a little. I have no desire for a smart phone. One of the few ways I have been able to guarantee time not working, time exclusively and truly with family, has been to leave the house. If work can reach me anywhere now, I know myself, and I have a hunch that I will grade the occasional test or essay at a ball game.

The obsession with work will not drop off my shoulders anymore when I leave my home office. It will follow me everywhere because technically – and technologically – I can do it anywhere now.

I do not want our kids to become zombies constantly checking their phones, texting in face-to-face social settings, unable and unwilling to allow themselves to be a little bored for the sake of others who need their undivided attention. They have done well with their flip phones, so perhaps this is not a concern. We shall see.

So I am trying to wrap my head around how cool it will be to …. what? What will be cool about this?