Commentary

Hand Holding vs. Hand Held

handheld love i

Can you love your partner and your cell phone? iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com
handheld love

Can you love your partner and your cell phone?

iStockphoto.com

We already know that the entire world is going down the tubes and those tubes are the ones that make up the internet.

The worst part of this heck-hole are the little handheld mobile devices we are forced by society to use. I know. One of them nearly wrecked my marriage.

And if anyone's going to wreck my marriage its gonna be me, so I was resentful.

My wife and I were on vacation in July in southern Colorado. My wife's family had gathered for a reunion — lots of people, lots of meals, and more meals, a bit of sightseeing, and a bit of arguing...pretty standard fare.

I used my Blackberry discreetly. By that I mean, all the time — under the table, in the car at red lights, in the bathroom, in the bedroom, near the pool, near the river. You know, discreetly.

As far as I was concerned, I was so cool with the toy (I call it my "GameBoy") that my use was undetectable.

Except it wasn't.

When we got home, my wife let me know that I'd ruined the vacation and that I was an embarassment.

On our next vacation, we went to New England.

I told all my Facebook friends I was going silent for two weeks. I posted that annoying "out of office" notice on my email. I would have left the "GameBoy" at home except it was my cellphone, too.

It was only after a week-and-half into the trip, filled with the pride of the righteous non-user, that I realized it would have been impossible to use the mobile device in the rural cabin we rented. There was no service in this patch of New Hampshire. All that self-control was unnecessary.

Anyway, as the relationship with my handheld faded, my relationship with my spouse improved.

The end result: a radio story for All Tech Considered about how handhelds can single handedly (this depends on your texting ability) ruin relationships — and the importance of mobile manners. I interviewed people in the dating scene, in relationships and in long-term marriages about how to love your partner as much as your sidekick.

You can hear it, today, on All Things Considered.

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