Cell Phone Forest

You Might Be a Smartphone Oblivion if…

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You might be “a smartphone oblivion” if…

How should I end that sentence? I plan to share a few possibilities I’ve observed, but I want to hear from you, too. Knowing whether you’re “a smartphone oblivion” could play a big part in your life-journey makeover. Write and tell me what you think, but wait until you read the thoughts below.

First, let me be sure you know what I mean when I talk about the two words “smartphone” and “oblivion” as I apply them to people.

  • smartphone” ~ You can use a smartphone to make and receive calls, text back and forth, take and send pictures, exchange email, find info on the Internet, and download other apps for convenience and entertainment.

Other cell phones let you make and receive calls, maybe text messages, and maybe use a camera, but they give few additional functions. They’re more convenient than landlines, but that’s about it.

  • oblivion” ~ You probably won’t find this word listed in a dictionary, but I find it a perfect shorthand way to refer to an “oblivious person” and, in plural form, to a group of oblivious people.

Oblivious people become so caught up with one thing that they completely fail to remember how to act in a given situation. You’ll see what I mean.

You might be “a smartphone oblivion” if you’re the one holding this phone.

Cell Phone Forest small

Why do I say that?

You might be “a smartphone oblivion” if you can’t see the forest for the trees. You know that idiom, don’t you? You’re so wrapped up in one thing that you’re unaware of everything else going on around you. You’re too involved in the details of what’s important to you at the moment to stay aware of the situation as a whole.

That kind of behavior will almost guarantee an unsatisfactory, perhaps too short life journey. You’ll find yourself on a lonely, desolate path as you repel others by your self-centered actions. You may find yourself on a suicidal dark path.

Look at this dating couple.

Cell Phone Date

You might be “a smartphone oblivion” if…

You behave as the man in the photo behaves. He acts as though his life is so utterly important that it’s okay for him to ignore his date sitting right across from him. His phone calls the plays (pun intended). Whether his phone rings or vibrates, he simply must look at it. He must know immediately who’s calling or texting. His smartphone and he make a unit that is oblivious to what his date is doing or thinking. How long do you think she will stay with this smartphone oblivion?

Look at this capture of a glowing sunset.

Cell Phone Sunset

You might be “a smartphone oblivion” if…

You act as I saw a group in Santa Barbara, CA act at sunset one day. Their deeds shouted to the large group in the park that their right to enjoy the sunset far outweighed any rights others might think they had. They, with their large group of friends packed the area along the entire cliff-side railing as they snapped every stunning photo they wanted with smartphones. They all were too involved in sunset photography to stay aware of the situation as a whole. Rudely, they ignored the fact that dozens of others were waiting patiently to get to the cliff-side railing where they also could get unobstructed photos before the sun sank into the sea. I have to say that they engendered a lot of ill will.

Then there’s this very important photo.

Cell Phone Earbuds

You might be “a smartphone oblivion” if…

You choose to stuff smartphone earbuds into your ears and wear them for hours every day. Earbuds are useful little devices – a pair of tiny speakers that you wear inside your ears. They fill your head with music, but that music can drown out other sounds around you. It can make you fail to remember how to act in a given situation such as crossing the street. In fact, studies found that electronics like earbuds cause 8% of pedestrian accidents in cities. How do they do that? Your smartphone earbuds can mute sounds of approaching danger as you walk along a sidewalk. They can block the sound of a horn when you’re in a pedestrian crossing. Your music keeps you from staying aware of what’s going on around you when you’re jogging or biking. A smartphone oblivion could well be exchanging a safe life journey for a head full of music with a confused or shortened life journey

You might also want to think about the message you’re giving to others.

Nobody Home

You might be “a smartphone oblivion” if your actions are telling your family, friends, and others, “Hey, if you’re looking for someone who practices common courtesies, you might as well look elsewhere. If you want someone who knows what’s happening around him or her, don’t look at me. There’s no one inside my body who’s aware of other people or dangers. I’m “a smartphone oblivion”.

Maybe you’ve decided it’s too much trouble to try always to be aware of your surroundings. Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that a person has to be born with awareness, and you weren’t born with it. You don’t mind being called an oblivion, and you want people to let you be just who you are.

In fact, you don’t think others should care even if you use your phone like this

Cell Phone Fantasy

Actually, you might be “a smartphone oblivion” if you do use your smartphone like that. Maybe you like to spend hours on end off by yourself, daydreaming. You’re sure you don’t have to consider being aware of the situation around you because, after all, you aren’t ignoring anyone. You aren’t abusing common courtesies. It’s not as though you’re making 100 people wait for you to dig out your ticket. You’re in your bedroom with the door shut – or hiking solo on a remote trail. Wherever it is, you can’t see how daydreaming could have an impact on your life journey or on the life journey of anyone you know.

I hope you’ll beware, because there’s so much more to it than that.

Cell Phone Danger

Look closely at the above photo of “a smartphone oblivion” and you’ll see danger lurking in the darkness. If this is your hand holding the phone, and you keep your focus on the fantasy world, you’re completely failing to remember how to act in a shadowy situation. Things could go south very quickly, diminishing your chances of staying alive if that tiger decides to attack. It need not be a wild tiger in a jungle or escaped from a zoo, of course.

Your life journey can take a very bad turn for the worse if you fail to attune all five senses to the situation around you.

This news item tells of a group of smartphone oblivions sitting within feet of a murder that occurred in slow, obvious motion – with not one of the oblivions looking up until he or she heard the terrifying bark of the handgun.

A college student’s life journey ended in that instant. The life journey of every one of those smartphone oblivions seated in the commuter train took a swift turn onto a frightening path.

What if you’d sat in that specific commuter train car at that time, unaware of the unfolding situation?

The phrase “situational awareness” identifies the main problem of “a smartphone oblivion” such as I’ve been discussing. Smartphones complicate our ability to practice situational awareness because we allow them to rule over us. We hand over the control of our situations to a small handheld screen.


You might be “a smartphone oblivion” if you do any one of the things I’ve written in this post. You might be a smartphone oblivion if you do none of these, but you realize that you could use self-improvement in the way you use your smartphone or any other phone. You owe yourself this work of self-improvement.

A life-journey makeover definitely includes looking at your cell phone use. Keep a list going of times you notice yourself being unaware of what’s going on around you when you’re staring at your phone or other electronic companion. Ask family and friends to tell you when they notice your lack of situational awareness.