real life

"I'm not a bad person because I love my smart phone."

It’s about time we stopped judging people for their constant smart phone use. Modern life requires it and even if we wanted to go back to the dumb phone or even no phone at all, there’s no turning back the clock.

My crazy, busy modern life wouldn’t even be possible without my smart phone and I am grateful to it.

As a working mother-of-three, I make no judgement when I see people glued to their phones and it’s time for people to stop judging me.

I’m not a bad mother because I use a smart phone.

When I’m at swimming lessons with my children and I’m using my phone, I’m probably not on Facebook, as strangers immediately assume. I’m usually responding to work emails or editing one of my articles.

I’m working and my smart phone allows me to work at the same time as take my children to swimming lessons.

If it weren’t for that smart phone my work hours wouldn’t be flexible – and I wouldn’t be able to be there at all. You can’t seriously tell me that would be better.

We didn’t wake up one day and think to ourselves how great it would be to have a gadget so enticing it will cause us to disconnect from ‘real life’. And let’s be honest, it’s not like bus passengers spent all of those endless hours each week talking to each other and staring out the window having creative thoughts before the advent of the smart phone.

Smart phones are awesome. I can grocery shop on the bus on the way home, order my children’s lunches while drying my hair, pay bills while cooking dinner and so many other things. And there are many like-minded smart-phone-lovers in the Mamamia office who pass no judgement on those they see using them.

They may be reading the classics in iBooks, who’s to say what they are doing isn’t worthy? 

I think it depends on context. It drives me mad when you are out for dinner. But…nobody used to blink an eye 9 years ago when my husband and I would spend Sunday’s at a cafe reading the newspaper and not talking to each other. 

Okay, I only found two people who agree with me. Everyone else things phone are nasty and addictive, but I still say when you are a working parent, they are lifesavers.

mariahs world
Even Mariah needs her smart phone. Image via E!
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It reminds me of everything - important meetings for my children's schools and important meetings for me, birthdays of loved ones and commitments I've made.

I'm not saying smart phones have made our lives better, I'm saying that if we are to succeed in the modern world we simply have no choice but to be continuously connected to everything and everyone.

Saying smart phones are ruining our lives is like saying cars have ruined our lives.

"Cars have made us lazy. Much better to walk to work or ride a horse."

But who of us would be able to get through our busy day without a car or some other form of modern transport? Who of us really wants to go back to a time before there were cars to make our lives easier. There are downsides to vehicle use - the cost, the environment - but we have accepted them as necessary for modern life. Just as smart phones need to be accepted as necessary for modern life.

My smart phone use isn't a personal failing.

It doesn't make me a bad parent.

It doesn't make me a bad friend.

It doesn't make me a bad partner.

And it makes me a much better worker.

Media personality Yumi Stynes takes her daughter's phones and checks them.

Still, we're consistently being told to use phones less and go on digital detoxes. And to keep our kids off devices.

Don't you pass on your bad habits to your innocent children.

Devices are the devil, just as TVs used to be blamed for everything that was wrong with life.

Well, we survived watching TV every night and the industry thrived and advanced and developed into streaming services we can now access through our smart phones. There's nothing wrong with that.

What's wrong is our constant need to become hysterical over everything we do, say, watch, use, eat and think. We're so busy judging other people's lives that we forget that our energy would be best served looking at our own lives.

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Admit it. You love it. I love it. We all love it. We need to stop feeling guilty about it and embrace it.

Technology is here to stay, modern life isn't going to suddenly rewind and there isn't anything a smart phone doesn't make easier. It's my PA, my assistant, my friend, my helper and my ball-juggler. It's the only way I can do all that I do.

And I make no apologies for that.

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