Congratulations – It’s a Boy?!?
My wife was recently in the waiting room at the doctors with our 4-month old son, Jobie. As he slept peacefully in the car-seat, she kept checking on him to see if he was “doing okay” (sleeping, moving, breathing. etc.). After checking on him for the 7th time in 10 minutes, an older gentleman sitting across from her asked quite humorously, “Did he disappear?” After they both chuckled, my wife realized just how much she had been checking in on him. Oh the joy of being new parents!
Compulsive checking isn’t new. In fact, a recent study indicated that compulsive cell phone checking is at a record high. It was reported that some people check there cell phones upwards of 75 times a day and in extreme cases closer to 150 times (i can relate)! I’ve begun to realize that taking care of a newborn has striking similarities to our relationship with our cell phones. Thankfully, we’ve been blessed with a baby who has the temperament of a 1980’s land-line phone – only ringing/fussing when he actually needs something. However, that’s not the case for most newborns.
Most newborns are more like cellphones – demanding all of your time and attention 24 hours a day.
Can you relate to any of these similarities?
- It wakes you up at all hours of the night
- It cries for your attention and often is full of poop
- If you leave it at home you MUST turn around to go back for it
- It’s the first thing your attention goes to upon waking or right before bed
- It becomes part of your livelihood and you feel that you’d die if anything happened to it
Whether you have children or just got your first cell phone, you can probably relate to the items above. As I new parent I can understand ‘being addicted to love’, but being addicted to cell phones. That’s a different story.
Do you know this word? Nomophobia is a term describing a growing fear in today’s world — the fear of being without a mobile device, or beyond mobile phone contact. Here are a few staggering stats that highlight just how extreme this can be:
- Sixty-five percent, or about two in three people, sleep with or next to their smart phones.
- Thirty-four percent admitted to answering their cell phone during intimacy with their partner.
- One in five people would rather go without shoes for a week than take a break from their phone.
- More than half never switch off their phone.
- A full 66 percent of all adults suffer from “nomophobia.”
The Mobile Invasion
With a growing trend in ‘all things mobile’ it makes it even harder to manage (or some cases avoid) the mobile invasion into the fabric of the human race. Two examples of this include, the push to have digital drivers licences and a rapidly growing phenomenon called Lifelogging.
The State of Delaware is in position to be the first to adopt digital drivers license (my hunch is that the other 49 states will swiftly follow suit). This assumes that everyone in the Delaware has a cell phone and that they never leave it behind. Although recent research supports these assumptions, something seems out of place here. Are we doing more than replacing our physical drivers license? To me it feels one step closer to adding an appendage.
Another growing trend is the Quantified Self movement, also known as Lifelogging. More and more people are collecting more and more data about themselves. This is yet another indication that the cellphone is becoming an extension of the human body. Here is an excerpt from a brilliant thesis by, Sophie Uesson which is titled: To Live is to Keep Track: Self-tracking and the Price of Finding the True Self.
You were awoken by Jawbone at 7.12 am after 6 hours and 14 minutes of sleep with a sleep quality of 67 percent. Your egg sandwich, which you had for breakfast on the go, contained 463 calories. Since you swallowed the last bite of your sandwich you have taken 1457 steps, as well as cycled for 23 minutes to work, burning 146 calories in total. This is a normal start of the day for many self-trackers. Every minute of their life is monitored, recorded and analyzed, resulting in insights which are used to alter, transform and enhance their identity (Blackman, 2008), often but not always, with the hope to one day decipher their true self and the true human.
Personally, I don’t track much data. However, our 4-month old is well on his way.
Our son already has more data on his poop, pee and feeding cycle thanks to a an app for new mothers called, MammaBaby.
Are Cell Phones becoming a Permanent Extension of Us?
A child is the ultimate extension of two people. A beautiful blend of love, genetics and lineage which come together to create life. As we continue to integrate our mind, body and spirit with technology , it makes me wonder if cell phones are actually becoming a new extension of who we are. Take a quick skim through the behaviors below. Do you partake in any of them?
- look at your cell phone while going to the bathroom
- check your cell phone at every stop sign or red light
- peek at your cell phone when your significant other leaves the room for a moment
- glance at your notifications in the middle of the night
- hold your phone in your hand constantly!
Okay, I admit – I’m guilty to most of these behaviors. I choose to talk about them because I truly feel in the depths of my heart that we are on the verge of altering the fabric of who we are. This has me worried. Technological innovation is at an all time high. The new iPhone 7 will be here before you know it. So before we continue following the herd to cell phone store, let me pose a few questions. How are we moving the needle at the relational level? Where are the breakthrough innovations on how to foster better relationships? How are we strengthening our spiritual roots? Where are the million dollar media campaigns for healing and forgiveness? My hope is that we begin to spend more time checking in with ourselves and less time on our phones.