But, have I also lost something? Have I lost my ability to create a space of solitude while sitting on that Central Park bench, making restaurant reservations and ordering movie tickets? And have I lost something in my inability to get lost in the back lanes of Seville looking for that flamenco bar?
By ridding ourselves of the laptop, and smartphone, and e-reader, and tablet, and ear buds, and Go Pro camera, and selfie stick and charger (and backup charger and solar charger) and whatever else may qualify we can experience instant weight loss. Like magic. Try it: Toss all your devices and get on the scale.
We all know there's more than one downside to the omnipresent smartphone--the invention of the 'selfie', the calloused thumbs, the inability to bullshit our way through a discussion about, well, anything that can be Googled. But you know what my favorite upside is? The ability to take a picture at any given moment. No, I'm not talking about catching a nominee for the 'People of Wal-Mart' blog; I'm talking about taking pictures of my kids.
Smartphone abuse is not only rude, it's dangerous. This is decidedly addictive behavior. And like all addictions, the addict is not the only victim. Smartphones create a terribly discourteous, antisocial, particularly uncivil environment in public spaces. Look around. Someone might need your help and you might want to offer it.