Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Features and More

Column: 8 times you should actually have your phone taken away

Oh, the phone. We use it for so much. For connection. For documentation. For catching up with old friends.

For instance, we were thrilled when Tracy Morgan called us up to chat recently. It has been a long and tumultuous road for the Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star since a 2014 traffic accident put him into a coma.

He's doing much better now, as you'll read in Jay Cridlin's interview. But at Friday's Mahaffey Theater show in St. Petersburg, you won't be able to tweet live dispatches detailing Morgan's fresh glow. That's because you'll have to hand over your cellphone to an attendant, who will lock it in pouch designed by a company called Yondr. You'll keep your phone on you in the locked bag all night, but you won't be able to use it during the show.

PHONE MANIA: Concert crowds full of fans watching through cellphones. Can it be stopped?

As an admitted iPhone junkie, I feel mixed about this approach. I understand that stars want to protect their material, or simply encourage you to enjoy an authentic experience. But there's something satisfying about taking a picture or video to look back on. My hesitation could also be an anxiety reaction, and yes, I will explore this in therapy.

It's a conundrum we're not going to solve here today. But it did seem like a good time to review moments when phones should definitely be locked away. Maybe a new business avenue for Yondr?

Driving.

Obviously. Do we have to go over this again?

When it's 1 a.m. and you really need to sleep but you remember you haven't looked at Instagram all day.

And then you end up scrolling endlessly through your stream because now it's a challenge not to miss a single picture of your co-worker's banh mi or Kylie Jenner's latest lip shot. Help! Now you've been scrolling so long that your eyes have frozen open, like wintry windows. What is the point of life? Oh, look, a baby with a 9 month sticker!

And then you remember Pinterest exists.

You need appetizer ideas for Thanksgiving because your sister steals attention with that pumpkin roll, so just a quick two-hour spin …

After two or more drinks.

And I don't mean apple juice. Although, if it has added sugar and you tend to get weird on sugar, consider a limit for yourself, too.

When someone is trying to have a serious conversation with you.

Or really, any conversation. It's annoying to tell a story while the person on the receiving end is looking at his or her device. It gets even weirder when you're telling him about, say, your grandmother's hip replacement and he randomly chuckles because he's watching a Snapchat of a squirrel surfing.

When you're crossing the street.

It is important to tweet that your favorite shoes need re-heeling, but just wait until you're out of the crosswalk.

Reading to your kid at bedtime.

She wants to hear the ingredients Pete the Cat used to build his awesome sandwich. She doesn't want to hear BuzzFeed's list of 17 times Joey ate lunch meat on Friends.

A first date.

Also known as a last date.

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