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In Defense of the Smart Phone

Not a day goes by that I don’t see an article online about how smart phones are destroying our children, ruining civilization as we know it, and causing rampant toenail fungus and the spread of rotavirus throughout major metropolitan areas.  It’s dire, you guys.  Smart phones will destroy us.

I know.  I read all the articles.  From my smart phone.  And I hear all the reasons and the research and we limit our kids’ use and sometimes I have to lock mine in the car to stop staring at it like some lab rat with a piece of Camembert.  I get it.

But, there are enough articles about how much smart phones suck, so how ’bout one for how completely awesomesauce they are?  We all know they’re gonna kill us, but how about an article in defense of the smart phone?

Ahem. *steps up to mic*

Smart phones are the best thing ever invented, after the swimming pool and waffle fries, and here’s why.

1. They bring us together.

When you’re running errands with three kids and one has a diaper explosion in the middle of Target and one performs an impression of Amanda Plummer from Pulp Fiction in the Lego aisle and one flips up your skirt to show everyone in kitchen appliances that you are indeed not yet ready for bikini season you need to lament to other people who Understand the Things and will talk you off the ledge, otherwise known as leaving your whole freaking cart and running out of the store.  And the smart phone is there for you in that moment, unless it’s the electronics section of my Target, in which case I’m on my own and will be getting no reception whatsoever.

2. I can have a job and take my kids to the pediatrician and stuff.

Because of my smart phone, who I’ll call Gemma, as I’m sick of typing “smart phone,” I can schlep all the kids to all the places and still return emails, jot down notes for the book I’m writing, tweet out a link to a fundraiser for HopeChest, and still get my kid the prescription she needs for her ear infection.  We are living in a golden age.

3. I have actual photos and videos of my kids.

If it weren’t for Gemma and her easy little button, I’d have zero memories for my kids when they get older.  Apparently people used to carry cameras around, but who am I, Annie Leibovitz?  Because of my phone, I have my daughter reading her first book on video, my son when he decided to strap on fake boobies and dance around in a dress, many, many photos of my journey to learning how to braid hair like a boss, and blackmail videos of my oldest in case she ever steps too far out of line.

4. Now we can multitask in the bathroom.

Oh, everyone does it, so stop looking horrified.  I mean, don’t ever borrow my phone, but stop judging me.  I am extremely efficient and as moms, sometimes the bathroom is the only place we’re alone, so we might as well take advantage of it.

5. I no longer have to listen to my friends try to tell me how to get to their house using only landmarks.

I am a street name person and will pressure you for names and miles.  I do not want to hear about the old oak tree and the store with the pink pig billboard behind it.  The facts, ma’am, just the facts.  And now instead of being a total A-hole to my people, I can just google the address right there on Gemma, who is waiting patiently in my purse, and avoid the inevitable eye rolling.

6. We have instant access to advice, both solicited and unsolicited.

If I mention on Facebook that my eye twitched, within an hour, I will have 45 comments about which oil to try and whether or not I should drive myself to the ER.  This is 95% awesome and 5% horrifying.  When I mildly suggested that I might have a weensy issue with my Macbook, the Appletons descended upon me in full force to readminister KoolAid lickety-split.

7. Now people can take and share graphic photos of their children’s oozing wounds for us to scroll across with no warning.

We used to only be able to imagine what these disgusting pustules looked like, but now we know in intimate detail.  With great power comes great responsibility.

8. We always have a flashlight.

We’re flashlight losers around here and whenever we’d lose power or end up in the dark, we’d stumble around like those idiots from the horror movies who never seem to be prepared and run and stumble.  And I’m clumsy, so I do a mean run and stumble.  But now I always have a flashlight.  It makes me feel like MacGuyver or Bear Grylls or a Girl Scout or something.  I’m so prepared.

9. We always know the weather.

Remember how growing up we’d huddle around the one TV to watch the weather scroll across the bottom of the screen?  We’d spend hours looking for school closings or waiting to see if it was going to storm and ruin our pool time.  But now, thanks to Gemma, I know the weather every second of every day.  I can watch a green puffy cloud scroll across my county and feel the rain on my skin as I do.

10. You can play music out of your butt.

I never have music and I misplace CDs and I never know what the cool kids are listening to.  But now I can open up Spotify or Pandora or the music from iTunes that magically appears on my phone and hit play, stick my phone in my back pocket, and jam out while cleaning the kitchen.

And the list goes on.  By all means keep bashing the smart phone, but also enjoy the little magic happy boxes.  Gemma and I are tight.