Could someone pass me the … iPhone?


At every family party, someone gets upset that I’m on my phone. 

This Christmas, it will be no different.

“Jack, get off your phone,” my mom always says. “It’s wrong to check it during dinner.”

Wrong? I didn’t know morality factored into checking my iPhone.

It feels natural to me to open Twitter during a lull in the dinner-table conversation. It’s the “two-screen experience.” I merely want to see what my friends are saying about their holiday parties and relate to them.  

Christmas marks the second year of hearing “get-off-your-phone.” Santa surprised me with my iPhone two years ago. Immediately, I pounced on the slick black super computer.

My family might say I haven’t lifted my face from the screen since.

The iPhone has changed my life. Each day begins with checking my email and ends with a “good night” text.  Calls, texts, snapchats, tweets, emails, games and Google searches fill most days. It is the most important technological tool in my life because I use it all the time.

So, it should have been no surprise when I checked my two-year call log. Unbelievably, I’ve spent 28 days and 10 hours just talking on my phone. (You can find this out on the iPhone by clicking on “Settings” and then on “Cellular.”)

I was flabbergasted. Seriously? 28 days??

The problem with those 28 days is that I don’t even remember a single conversation in any detail. Sure, I think my mom called for like two days to tell me to pick up my room. Probably six days were spent answering the phone for “what’s up” conversations. Another four days might have been used for work or school.

As for the other 16 days spent talking into a box? I have no idea what happened.

It’s weird to think what I could have done with that time that I barely remember. I could have walked to New York and back to St. Louis and still had two extra days (to talk on my phone, I guess?).

You might say that I’ve “wasted” time talking on the phone or sending the more than 1,000 texts a month or averaging five tweets a day.

But that’s just life in the 21st century. We need our phones. Despite the enormous amount of time we’ve spent using them, this technology has saved us so much more time. Heck, I can eat a turkey sandwich while checking my U.S. Bank account if I want.

Sure, the romantic in me always feels like throwing away technology and fleeing for the woods like Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “natural man.” But where would man be without the stone tool and wheel and every other invention since then?

So, yes, hold on, I need to check my phone, because this is 2013. And I want to tweet about my family Christmas party and then Google search the history of decorating a Christmas tree. I’m pretty sure Uncle Mike is wrong. It’s a German tradition.