Okay, we’re all guilty of being obsessed with our smart phones. As I started to put this list together, I had to agree that I was guilty. There are a few out there who carry a plain old cell phone simply for communication purposes, hard to believe, but it’s true. I’ve decided to become the Miss Manners of the smart phones, so here’s my top ten and I’ll be honest about my guilt or innocence (for the most part):

  1. Answering a call – Ever with someone that answers their phone while they’re in mid-conversation with you? Other than a business call or your kid reaching out, we should really resist. Notice I put disclaimers in there for qualified excuses (mostly because I’m guilty of those), but even with that, I’ve been guilty. How does it make you feel when someone does that to you? Less than important? Think about it. If the call can wait, let it.
  2. Text messaging – It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, don’t text and drive. There are many that have lost loved ones from this silly practice. Pull over or wait until you get to a stop light. I’m guilty and have sworn off the bad habit. Forget that it can be less than important, you could end up dead or even worse, cause someone else to lose their life and who wants to live with that?
  3. Checking your phone while standing in line – Now this is the most practical and loved reason for having a smart phone. Let’s admit it. Standing in line is a snooze and this is a great way to do all that important stuff like check Facebook, the weather, or play an addictive game that you can’t resist. Who wants to talk to strangers or watch the barista make your coffee that you’re not-so-patiently waiting for? I’m guilty and will continue with this mostly acceptable behavior.
  4. Send an email – I’m so glad that when I do send an email from my phone, it lets the recipient know that’s where it came from. I always feel bad about making my replies so short when I’m on the phone. Not that I like to write or anything. Who would accuse me of that?
  5. Check the weather – This is a definite plus. Even your friends with the dumb phones appreciate your ability to be Al Roker in a pinch.
  6. Get directions – A great way to find out where you’re gonna go. My biggest problem is that sometimes it will audibly tell me how to get there and other times, Siri is on a break and will only give it to me in line-by-line directions. This would qualify as texting while driving, so I’m forced to find my own way or enlist the help of my vehicle’s GPS which I haven’t figured out yet either. My new retirement ride requires at least three one hour coaching sessions in order to know how to operate everything. Maybe by the time I trade it in, I’ll be able to figure it out. Maybe not.
  7. Note pad – Now this is the best feature of a smart phone. I keep lists for EVERYTHING such as Blog notes (surprised?), grocery store, passwords, writing ideas, and even to-do lists (I hate those, but without them, I’d never leave the hammock). Ever write a grocery list and then leave the list at home. Since we all know the smart phone is constantly with us, we know that ain’t gonna happen.
  8. Music – Now who doesn’t love listening to their own favorite music at the drop of a hat? Mine’s loaded with classic rock (don’t you just love how us baby boomers call everything “classic” or “vintage” instead of what it actually is, “old?”, reggae, and a few of my favorite current artists.
  9. Prove an old fart wrong – The older baby boomers hate this feature. When Jeff would tell a tale, the millennials in the room would Google the details and correct his story. So much for our, “It’s my story and I’ll tell it anyway I want!” attitude. We were reeling in some friends on going snipe hunting when Zena looked at her phone and spoiled the surprise. If you wanna go snipe hunting, you can join us at McToberfest this year. We’re happy to introduce you to Captain Snipe. Just bring your flashlight.
  10. Face Time – Now for a grandmother (Grandy, if you really wanna know) formerly with kids in S. Korea, you would think I would have loved this feature. However, when  you’re talking with someone on the other side of the world, it has to be either early in the morning, or late at night. This means no make up and/or bed hair. Not good. Let’s do this call with audio features only, please.
  11. Selfies – Okay, so there’s eleven…Selfies are a great way to show the world where you are and how much fun you’re having with someone that’s dear to you, however, I think we’ve gotten out of control on this one. I haven’t taken a selfie that I liked yet. Who wants to see me up close and personal? If I don’t, I doubt the rest of the world does. Note to self, no selfies unless there is a selfie stick involved. Distance is my friend when it comes to photo ops.

The smart phone epidemic has changed social media and given us immediate access to things that sometimes aren’t really all that important. Have you ever put off answering a call, called the person back, and found that they found the answer they were looking for? Happens all the time.

It’s a real comfort to know that God hears us even before we know what it is that we ask, want, or need. “Before they call, I will answer. While they are still speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24. Let’s take time to listen and do what is really important. Be there for the ones we love the most, just like Him.