Does your phone keep you from living in the moment?

This short comedy film I Forgot My Phone by Charlene deGuzman captures the distracted nature of living with smart phones. “There is a moment happening right in front of you, right this second, and you’re missing it,” writes deGuzman.

Today’s Question: Does your phone keep you from living in the moment?

[h/t Boing Boing]

  • Keith

    That video was all too real. Funny in a very sad sort of way. I don’t carry a phone and don’t feel poorer for it.

    • Hi Keith, what about those around you? Do you ever say anything to friends, family members or co-workers that are distracted by their phones?

      • Keith

        I do kid my wife about it. Although she’s not that bad with it, she does do the “anything new?” phone check every time it chirps (and if she thinks something might have happened and she missed the audible notice). As far as with friends, I just don’t want to make a scene. It is irritating (and just plain rude) when at work, someone’s phone goes off in the middle of a meeting when you know that the call has something to do with where they are meeting for lunch. I’m in one recurring meeting where this happens EVERY SINGLE TIME!

  • Pearly

    Looks about right to me. No smart phone here or facebook you can have it. I’m not interested

  • Ted

    My town’s answer was to ban mobile devices. It is silly to be surrounded by wilderness and yet hide behind your ipod or phone.

  • heather

    no smart phone here….kind of afraid I would become the video, at least occasionally. My husband can’t even get text messages on his phone and can become exasperated if he hears the chime on my phone go off. And I only have about 75 text messages a month on average.

    • Keith

      Sounds like me (with my wife). I wouldn’t even know how to send a text, let alone receive one. “My cell” stays home on the desk, as it was basically a replacement for our landline. It only leaves home when we travel.

  • PaulJ

    Not from living in the moment, but from it does cause me to think locally and act globally (which is bad?).

  • killershrew

    At one point, I think my phone did keep me from living in the moment. But in the last year, I’ve done a 180. Earlier this year I had a mental meltdown of sorts – I was feeling way too stressed and a lot of it could be attributed to being over-connected to other people through social media. I really started questioning my participation in social sites and for a month or two, I basically froze my activity on them. I didn’t delete any accounts, but I took that time to re-evaluate my life, what I shared online, how much I read from other people, who I was connected to, what sites were worth participating in. Now, I almost never share something in the moment. If I think something is worth sharing (which is rare), I’ll file it away in my brain or take a picture with the intent of posting it when I’m not busy (also rare). I often find that things aren’t as interesting the next day as they felt in the moment, so I don’t even bother getting around to sharing them. I also feel like my real life experiences are richer and I’m also much calmer and less stressed. It’s amazing how stressed you get when you feel compelled to check your phone constantly – you don’t even realize it until you stop and disconnect from it.

  • Hangamule

    This isn’t comedy. It’s reality/horror.

  • miltlee

    Very sad – you see it all the time. There is an abstraction from life that happens when you are not here – but somewhere else – disconnected in our connected-ness.

  • JQP

    No. I use my recently obtained data phone with data plan as a tool. I take pictures of things I need at the hardware store. I use a budget application so I don’t overspend. I use the GPS to track my biking activity. I track my health stats with an app.

    Facebook, google plus and linked-in I use for the non posting stuff. simple contacts – much of it for learning about companies.

    this post for example – not from a phone.

  • Mick


    It is just a tool and *I* choose how to use it and when. The benefits far outweigh the negatives and the negatives are under *MY* control by turning it off or ignoring it.

    Blaming the device is a fool’s argument. You make the choice, not the device.

    • Pearly

      True, true,true. Mick
      “Blaming the device is a fool’s argument. You make the choice, not the device.”
      Thats exactly how I feel about firearms. Thank you.

      • kevins

        Hey Pearl…how ‘ya doing? Hope you are managing the heat. But…who gets shot with a cell phone? Just askin’. Be well.

        • Fred Garvin

          Who raises a cell phone against a gun held by a bad guy?
          Who has a cop in his pocket?
          Just askin’…
          Think well.

    • Fred Garvin

      That’s not entirely accurate; it’s a simplistic and cynical view.
      Regardless of what I choose, others around me have their phones and other devices that are becoming more & more intrusive into my world, however much I try to shield myself. the noise, the music, the photos take of me, the ringers, the annoying conversations–I cannot control how others use their “tools”, yet they are intruding more & more into my realm.
      Like automobiles and “entertainment” and Mylie Cyrus, they’re all around us and impossible to ignore or completely shut out. How I use those “tools” is less & less relevant for my “space” (or “moment” as it’s posed) is being invaded whether I consent or not.
      And then we an talk about what my employer and family expect of me and my phone, texts, emails, etc….
      A device in the hands of fools is a foolish device.

      • killershrew

        You actually touch on something I’ve been mulling over since seeing this video, but haven’t seen people talk about. Everyone reacts to this and says, “Is the phone impacting the way *I* live my life?” An important question, but an equally important one we should ask is, “How is my phone use impacting the lives of those around me?” I felt so bad for Charlene in so many of these segments – standing there, paitently waiting for someone to acknowledge her, and no one was. I see this with parents and kids. I see this with friends.
        I was out at dinner recently and a friend took my photo and posted it to a social media site in the blink of an eye. I tried to find the photo later, but he must have posted it on a site I don’t participate in. Honestly, it bothered me a little bit. There’s some photo of me floating around out there, a discussion happening that I’m completely ignorant of. There’s a certain invasion of privacy that happened in that moment, and in every other moment that we take a photo or video of someone without asking them if it’s okay first. In this age of instant internet memes, there’s a small amount of danger in having your picture taken and posted on the net, and I’m not entirely comfortable with it.

  • Jim G

    Not since I retired. One of the great discoveries I’ve made is that phone and email interruptions are not in control of my life anymore. Instead, I can choose to use my smart phone now as a phone. If you call, leave a voice-mail. I usually won’t answer your phone call unless I recognize it because a great percentage of the time they’re marketing calls, even though all of my numbers are on the supposed Do-Not-Call list. If you text me… you’re my wife. I use a weather app and that’s about it. I’ve found that life is a wonderful thing… if it’s lived in the real world.

  • Fred Garvin

    “living in the moment”–what does that mean?
    Isn’t texting, calling, emailing, facebook, twitter–isn’t all THAT living in the moment?
    None of us should be “living in the moment”–we should strive with every breath to make the future better: better for us, better for the most unfortunate, better for our children…
    That’s why impeachment and removal of Obama is imperative–the momentary pain of “the moment” will bring healing down the road. We cannot wait another 50 years for the dream shattered by this president to be rebuilt.
    Let’s vow to NEVER live in the moment. I dream…

  • Jeff

    I feel like this is the same conversation when any sort of new device is invented…when the automobile was created I’m sure many people asked if people weren’t living in the moment while driving since they were shielded from the outdoors…same with the telephone, how could it feel like you’re living in the moment if you can’t see the other person and read their body language?

    I’m sure I use my phone more than most people since I listen to MPR for a good portion of my workday or if I’m walking the dog…but otherwise it might sit in my pocket while I’m out of the house and plugged in away from me (unless I’m expecting a phone call) when I’m at home. I just don’t see that many people trying to live through the phone…most people use it when waiting, travelling or when alone and not doing something else. Although I do have one complaint about cell phone use (besides the normal “don’t text/talk and drive”) if you’re in the movie theater and the lights are off (during previews and especially the movie) please don’t use your phone…even if it’s on silent I don’t want to see the light and if you really want to check your phone get up and leave the theater before you look at it.