Perspective: How dependent are you on your smartphone?

Tim Wenger found out the hard way

Tim Wenger
October 19, 2017 - 10:09 pm
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So. How addicted to your smartphone are you?   Don’t lie now.  And actually a better question might be, how dependent on your smartphone are you?

I was in New York City for a couple days and my iPhone had my schedule, my contacts, my flight information and the important photos I had taken when Sandy Beach was inducted into the NYS Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  

After the luncheon induction, I cabbed it to ABC News with Mary from ABC.  We had a great talk along the way about the neighborhoods we were passing through and life in the city and ultimately exited at ABC near Central Park West. 

Only problem?   Quickly after leaving the Cab I had that panicked look in my eye and Mary said, “you have everything”?   Everything except my iPhone.

As a longtime New Yorker, Mary said give me the Cab receipt and we can contact the driver.  Not that easy unfortunately.  Our driver was an older gentleman and didn't’t have a phone of his own.  The cab service was trying to reach the driver to no avail and left a message at his home.  Huh?

As the minutes and then hour or more pass after the incident I’m wondering if the next ‘ride’ would take the phone?   Would the driver notice it?  Do I leave without the phone and report it stolen and get a new one?  

Amidst all this I was meeting with the great people of ABC News and trying my best to give them the attention they deserved while wondering how I would board my flight without my boarding pass and do all the other things we do on these amazing smartphones.  

At one point Mary said to me, you’re being amazingly calm about this”.   I responded, “it’s just a phone” and quickly realized what a liar I was.  

I was in full fledged panic mode.  

Another colleague from ABC, Andrew, said “we all do it once”(leave our phone in a cab) and proceeded to tell me one story that ended very badly and another that ended well.  

After calling my phone several times, finally there was an answer.  It was the driver.  Almost instantaneously I felt less stressed and was able to focus on my visit.   And as difficult to understand as the driver was, he was kind and brought my phone to ABC then drove me to JFK for my flight.  Yes, I gave him a great tip.  

From start to end, this whole story lasted over a timeframe of less than two hours but felt like an eternity.   I called my wife to report the blunder and was in full out panic mode for being ‘unconnected’ for less that two hours!

These little yet oh so powerful devices have captivated us and made us so dependent on their functions.  As I was in full panic mode about whether to go to the airport I asked Andrew, what time is it?   He laughed and said “you don’t have a watch anymore it’s on your phone”. 

So what’s the point in all of this?  It simply points to our reliance on technology to help manage our daily lives.  It actually took me about five tries before I could even figure out how to use a landline at ABC to call my wife. 

I don’t know about you, but clearly the answer to my own question is “I’m completely dependent on my phone to go about my daily routine”.   It’s my calendar, my watch, my bank, my link to my family and my security blanket.  

So, before you get out of that cab or get up from a restaurant, check to make sure you have your phone!

How dependent are you on your smartphone?   My advice is, keep it close-bye and don’t find out. 

And, yes, I wrote this on my iPhone 7+. 

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