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Everybody’s on the Phone


Everybody's on the Phone

I was listening to Jimmy Buffett sing Everybody’s on the Phone (ironically while on my iPhone) and it struck me how dependent I am on my gadgets. This is not a totally new revelation, as my wife, Linda, (the lovely Linda Harris of the Parrot Island Band) tells me on a regular basis, “No toys at the table!”:).

Buffett trying to reach the Parrot Island Band

Will Kimbrough and Jimmy Buffett put it nicely in the chorus:

Everybody's on the phone
So connected and all alone
From the pizza boy to the socialite
We all salute the satellites
Let me text you with your master plan
You're loud and clear but I don't understand
I'm a digital explorer in analog roam
And everybody's on the phone

While it is easier to send information to someone because of phone, text or e-mail, it seems like we really haven’t gotten better at “connecting”.  We “hear” but often fail to “listen.  Communication is not just a skill but also an art and no mountain of technology can help us to really connect if we don’t work at it.

I’m not ready to toss my phone… I really do enjoy the easy access to others (had a wonderful conversation with my dad today). I also must confess that I enjoy a few games (yes, I do play an occasional game of Angry Birds) and all of the “apps” (there is even a Bible app that I can use to look up some of my favorite inspirational verses).

Trying to connect with Parrot Island Band

Other features I enjoy on my phone are the camera and video. I use these to take pictures at gigs (Parrot Island Band: a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band in Atlanta, Georgia) and to occasionally capture a new song I am working on.

So where does this leave me? I spend too much time on the phone, but there are some legitimate (and fun) uses for it. As Jimmy sings in his song Barometer Soup, “moderation seems to be the key”. Some time on the phone is OK. We also need time face to face, really listening, time for exercise, enjoying nature and for me… time to pray and reflect. Of course, I also enjoy time with the phone off and guitar in hand… I think Jimmy is playing somewhere tonight, think I’ll turn on the radio and listen in for awhile. As always, beaches and blessings to you all.