The Dinosaur Ate My Smartphone


When did I become so dependent on technology?


Dino Ate My Smartphone crop - sig


After I got erased and abandoned my electronic devices to a heap on the floor, I had to call people. On a landline. Told them I was goin’ old school.

A few days later, when I got the nerve to pick up my cell phone again, I realized that not only was my email still messed up, my texts weren’t working. I felt disoriented and isolated.

Which is completely ridiculous.

Let me give you a snapshot of my childhood.

No microwave. No CDs. No DVDs. A rotary dial house phone attached to the wall. Yeah, that’s right. You heard me. Attached to the wall. Do NOT get me started on apps and social media because there were no computers let alone cell phones. We had a pet Brontosaurus.

Point is, I grew up without technology. I didn’t even get a smartphone until I was 40 years old and I’ve become so attached to the stupid thing that if I lost it, I’d be crushed. Crushed, people.

After spending four decades without one, I’m utterly, hopelessly reliant on a device I received only two years ago.

How did this happen?


My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.


Do you feel like you’re too dependent on technology? Are you too attached to your smartphone, iPad, or tablet? (Just out of curiosity…did you grow up with or without technology?)


20 thoughts on “The Dinosaur Ate My Smartphone

  1. I’ve had some sort of technology for a long time in my life, referring to the NES mostly. Videogames and I have been together since 1986. I got my first CD at 12 and still buy CDs though much less than before. The main issue is space or storage. I still love the act of putting an album on. Then computers came along when I was 15 and I had my first entrance into a chat room, TC’s chatroom to be specific. I was actually of the “older” crowd although I’m happy to say I keep in touch with a lovely friend I actually met there. That’s 21 years. Then came ICQ and I remember dreaming of chatting or chatting in my sleep. But none of that has been as invasive as having a smart phone. In part I love having access to the world and all my friends and new friends and all the information but part of the reason why I write by hand IS to disconnect because I feel as if I’m connected way too much sometimes. The other thing is that having a smart phone means part of me feels the need to not be idle… ever. And that can be super draining. I’ve thought of taking a break but then there’s the fact I have an activity here, and an activity there and I need to communicate lol. Sounds silly but that’s me lol. but after June 16, might take a week long break from most major technologies and just leave a bunch of stuff scheduled or maybe a full blackout. I don’t know. But I do know I want more nature in my life and although I love connecting with people (which seems we all do) sometimes we need to reconnect with ourselves and it’s ok to have a few minutes where you’re not productive lol.


  2. Considerably so, I fear. We didn’t have a phone in the house until I was in my teens (not even a TV before I was ten, but that’s the fifties for you). Making a phone call required a walk of a quarter of a mile to the nearest phone box. Yes, a walk. My father didn’t own a car until I was about 14. In fact, I’m struggling to remember which came first, the phone or the car.
    Now, if we’re without broadband for an hour, it’s a catastrophe. No mobile signal in the house and the phone is IP-based! We are royally stuffed!


  3. I remember the phone on the wall too. We had a party line with different ring patterns for each home on the line. You’d pick up the phone and hear someone’s conversation going on…
    Simple times before all the tech.


  4. I was the proud owner of an Apple II and the first one of my friends to connect to the Internet, but I stubbornly refused to upgrade to a smart phone. It pretty much took my kid’s birth and simplicity of combining phone, camera, and email to the grandparents to launch my technological revolution. Now it is hard to comprehend putting it up and never bringing it back out again. I am a hopeless addict.


  5. Yes! I have the same issue. It started for me while Noah was in school because I received calls so often I had to have my cell phone on me at all times. Then I upgraded to a bigger screen and started keeping all my notes and drafts of essays on it. It’s smaller and easier to port around than a laptop, but I don’t like the sense of confusion I feel when I lose my phone or am without it. I reach for it unconsciously far too often–like a security blanket. 😱


  6. I grew up without a lot of technology. We has a TV and video recorder. And I got a cassette plater and then cd player in my teens. But it wasn’t a major part of life until recently. And now, like you, if I lost my smartphone I don’t think life would be possible. I certainly couldn’t live without my laptop.

    And that makes me a little sad.


  7. Hmpf, I guess I’m the dame though would prefer I didn’t admit it. I think I’ve been growing my addiction ever since I received a BlackBerry for work back whenever. Now it’s my verifocals, soon something that captures errant fluids. Oh well.


  8. I just read another post on the very same subject. It’s crazy how dependent we’ve become on our phones. I also grew up with (and without) the same things as you. We think we can’t do without them, but we can!


  9. Yep. Today I woke up and the internet wasn’t working (again! Thanks, Virgin) and I felt quite stressed. Then I realised how ridiculous that was. I grew up, like you, with a phone attached to the wall, although my father worked for Apple so we had computers in the house – still, they were big clunky things and there was no internet or anything. Bizarre how much these things have become part of our lives – makes you wonder if there’s some deeper meaning behind it all…


  10. I have been without my phone for just over a week now, like you I grew up with no technology, an etch a sketch was the closest I got to a touch screen. At first, I thought it would be liberating but I think I might actually going insane.


  11. Yeah, your childhood was the same as mine – how did you arrange dates? By telling each other what time you met and hope for the best. None of this dumping by text shit.

    Don’t feel bad about it though. It’s just life. Things change, society develops, you’re not alone. We’re all addicts. Maybe its an addiction to information – maybe thats not a bad thing.


  12. Luckily I’ve managed to avoid the smartphone thing. My laptop on the other hand, I’d be utterly lost without that. Nay, screwed!


  13. Oh boy, do I sympathize! I left my phone at home one day and felt lost. It was so disconcerting. I wonder what it will be like for today’s teenagers who’ve never known life without smart phones. 🙂


  14. Ha, yeah, I’m dependent on technology, but then again, I’m also a computer programmer. So if technology didn’t exist, I’d be out of a job!

    Though I have a smart phone, it’s not the device I’m hooked to; it’s Google. I love just saying, “Okay Google, play the Galavant Theme Song,” and it does. At work, I’ve always got a browser open and I’m a speed demon with the search engine anytime anyone asks a question. Having information at my fingertips is an amazing thing.

    I also prefer typing digitally rather than hand writing. I’m not fond of duplicating effort when it comes to work.


  15. I did a snort-laugh when you talked about a rotary dial phone attached to the wall. We had one, too, when I was a a kid. And how annoying was it when you had to call a friend with a lot of 9’s and 0’s in their phone number?


  16. I grew up without technology and our phone as well as being one on the wall was operator connect. Our phone number was 86. I have made a conscious effort to try to keep up with technology – we had one of the first home computers and haven’t been without one or two ever since. I believed I was young enough that if I didn’t keep up there would come a time when I would have no choice but to use a smart phone (as it replaces cards and all types of things I haven’t started to imagine) and I didn’t want to have the headache I get everytime I try to turn the television on. I am looking forward to a coming holiday where we will not have internet access for two weeks so i can see if I can survive without. My gut tells me I will go through withdrawls.


  17. Ha! Don’t you worry about 4 decades without a smart phone. I had 6!! In my younger days we didn’t even have a telephone, let alone one with a rotary dial on the wall. I’m not sure in which era the Brontosauruses lived, but my pet dinosaur was from an earlier one!
    It reminds me of my gorgeous daughter when she was about seven. She loved asking me to tell her what it was like when I was a little girl. One day, with perfect comedic timing, she asked the same question, then added, “What were the dinosaurs like?” Sometimes it doesn’t feel quite as funny as it did then.
    Yes, indeed. How did we so quickly become dependent on our digital gadgets. I can’t imagine returning to life without them. They are only an extension of our brains after all.


  18. Ahh Sarah…again, I know, I know and grrrrrr…that is a major pain about the texts…I can’t believe it, sorry, but WTF???? These updates are so annoying. We live in a very different world. I have to keep going back there in writing my memoir, back to the late 70s and early 80s when living in America so far from my family we had the wall attached telephone (and calls once a month due to the high cost and no such thing as international calling plans) and letters. Hand written letters, many of which I still have written between me and my mum on thin, pale blue paper neatly folded in envelopes edged in red, white and blue stripes. I know we have to keep moving with the times, I remember when we got our first computer when my eldest son was 14…the school told us we had to have one as the teachers were no longer accepting work turned in if hand written. It cost a fortune. That was our dinosaur, within a couple of years. How things have changed. When I was in France last year for a week with my family I unplugged and I loved it. But I do think we are addicted, that something about the internet, social media, blogging, all of that, grabs us and makes us feel we belong but also makes us depressed and unhappy and anxious. At least, it does me. I would like to get rid of it all…but then I would miss it so much…maybe we’re too far down the road to change it. Maybe not…


  19. Back in the day…we never had such stress. The only issue we had was missing our fav soap opera, not hearing from a pen pal for months and what we were going to have for our tea. Everything feels so complicated nowadays.

    I liked pen pals. I liked to boast about how many pen pals I had. They never wrote back. I miss them.


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