3.13.2014

The Land Before Smartphones

In a world, without group messaging, a time long ago before selfies, where people greeted each other on the street; it was the land before cell phones. Sometimes I wonder what I did before the smart phone.
Sure, I had my little Nokia phone. But I only checked it occasionally to see if I missed a call or a text. Then I slipped it back into my back pack and adjusted my puka shell necklace.
Yesterday, Michael and I got in a fight over cell phones. We were going over plans for the week and I was scrolling through my instagram feed. I hadn't heard a word he said. He got mad. "Helene, do you want to talk to me or do you want to look at a screen?"
I honestly didn't even realize I was doing it. It has become such second nature to just pick up the phone at every spare moment (or when Michael is boring me). So what did we do with all that time? The time before cell phones?


- We interacted with each other between classes and meetings. Instead of just sticking our heads down and checking their Facebook.

- You actually looked at the tabloid magazines while you're waiting in line at the grocery store instead of scrolling the twitter feed.

- If we really needed to reach someone we could use a payphone nearby. Or, if we're at home, then you can call my second line, but only if my parents weren't on the internet.

- We didn't cancel plans. We couldn't just call someone up during work or school to tell them "something came up" so, we just stuck to the plan. And we had very specific meeting spots.

- We didn't take a picture of every. single. moment. that happened. Instead of watching interesting things through the little screen of our iPhone we actually just used our eyes to see it happening.

- We memorized phone numbers. All my best friends, boyfriends, and some close relatives numbers were memorized in the old noggin.

- We had conversations with people instead of updating our statuses.

- We told people about the delectable meal we had instead of 'gramming it.

- We got annoyed with people when they ran late. What the heck what we supposed to do?!

- We wrote stuff down. Instead of just putting it in the "notes" section in our phone we actually wrote on paper.

-We printed off maps of where we were going from Mapquest. Mapquest was our friend.

-We really had no idea what people were up to unless we saw them regularly.

- At stoplights we just changed the station to hear what else was on the radio.

What did you do before cell phones?

*****
And a big 'ol announcement. The Daily Tay and I are hosting a one time link up next Wednesday (the 19th) for "I Can't Wait For Summer Because." I don't know about you but I'm so over the cold and wintery days. What are you looking forward to? What are you over about winter/spring etc? You can't wait for Summer because... (grab a button below!)
Helene In Between
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78 comments :

  1. In my bedroom at my parents house I have so many printoffs from mapquest floating around my old room! I was so reliant on it! (Mostly because of my awful internal compass!) x

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  2. I would write so many notes to friends, notes are so much more fun than texts!

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  3. Sometimes I miss life before cell phones, I liked leaving the house and not having to worry about someone calling me until I got back. That being said I can't leave the house without a phone now, I worry "something bad" will happen and I might need my phone.

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  4. I went on vacay to Nassau, Bahamas two years ago and I had no cell service on the island. It was actually amazing to be on vacation and not be distracted by my phone!

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
    JCrew Giveaway!

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  5. On the one hand, for someone who hates talking on the phone, I'm so glad for the ability to talk to friends and family in texts and on facebook, I also love always having my camera at the tip of my fingers to capture memories. But I also think we're all a little too attached. I can already predict that as soon as I close my laptop, I'm going to have my phone in my hand scrolling through instagram or twitter within a minute or two... I'm going to actively try NOT to do that and actually do something productive!

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  6. Oh I can't wait! I'm totally linking up!! :)

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  7. omg puka shell necklaces! i laughed out loud at the mapquest thing. people used to get so bent out of shape with the mapquesting.

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  8. I am so guilty of never memorizing anyone's numbers now and I used to be so good at remembering everybodys number!

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  9. There was a time before cellphones?!

    Kidding.

    I still get annoyed when people run late, but a little part is happy that I have a few extra minutes to finish that level in whatever app I'm playing on my phone..

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  10. Excellent post. And a sobering reminder!
    And puka shell accessories were AMAZING. I rocked an anklet. =)

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  11. Ugh, I do the same thing, get on my phone without even realizing it, especially in the car while Chris is driving. We had to come to an agreement that we just don't have our phones out when we're in the car or when we are having a conversation. He also gets annoyed that I have to take a picture of everything rather than just enjoying the moment. Geez, it wasn't really even all that long ago that we didn't have smart phones. It's crazy how it's seemed to take over our lives. Okay maybe not our lives, but all of our spare time. so yea, basically our lives. And I love all your one time link up ideas. I could write a trilogy at this point on why I can't wait for summer!
    Eva Marie Taylor

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  12. It's actually so sad and I am guilty of the same thing. I know you are not a big country fan BUT you need to listen to Miranda Lambert's new song Automatic...it pretty much sums up the world we live in now and how it used to be. I am still on the fence if I like it better now or want to travel back in time for just a little while. :)

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  13. I was thinking about this same thing not too long ago! It's so crazy how dependent we have become on our smartphones. I've made myself go places without it because I found myself not letting it leave my hand on occasion ha ha! I remember when I would have to pick up our old cord phone call up a friend and make plans to meet at the park. I rode my bike everywhere, I enjoyed nature, I wasn't constantly texting/instagramming/snapchatting.. I kind of miss those days actually!
    I'm excited for the link up!

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  14. Happy 25 years, internet! I have to admit, I mostly love the internet and smart phones, but sometimes I miss the good old days when we connected more meaningfully with people. Great list you have here!

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  15. Smart phones, Snapchat, Spotify Premium... so many things that I wouldn't know what I was missing.

    I was / still am worthless with directions. I'd have to own a printer at home for all the MapQuest Directions/Reverse Directions I'd be printing off. #firstworldproblems

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  16. I got all weird when I didn't have internet or phone service for two whole days. It is crazy reliant we are on it now. I miss actually having time with people and hearing about what is new rather that oh yeah I saw on Facebook blah blah blah. I still remember some numbers from my youth but not new numbers.

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  17. confession - i don't know my bf's cell number. i am screwed if i am ever stranded without a phone.

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  18. Soo about this linkup.. can I link up my post from today because it totally fits haha.

    And seriously.. life before smartphones was so different. I do love having a camera at my fingertips at all times though. I realized my family barely has any pictures from when I was younger, but when you look at parents now it's like they have a documentary on each day of their childs life!

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  19. I have a confession, I am 33 and don't have a smart phone. Gasp, I know! And I gave up FB for lent, hardest thing ever! I do still print out directions to get to places, although mostly now I write down the directions, I have so many pieces of paper in my car with random directions to places on it. Often times I have to call my husband because I've made a wrong turn somewhere and am lost. That being said, I am getting one in July, when my 2 year contract is up. I might be counting down the days! I don't have instagram or twitter, or know what the best filteres are but you better believe come July I'll be diving into it. My husband and I realized when I renewed my contract 18 months ago, that we probably should have done the smartphone then, but it wasn't a big deal then, and somehow in the last 18 months everyone has becoming smart phone reliant and I can hardly get my Micheal's and JoAnn's 40% off coupons because I don't have a smart phone! So I definitely NEED one, I need my coupons!

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    Replies
    1. OH and that nokia phone, was what I had 18 months ago before I "upgraded" to what I have now.

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  20. I def remember the days before cell phones & sometimes wish I could go back to when I wasn't on mine 24-7. I def try to remember to put it down when M & I are home together. & I also try to keep it in my purse when I am at a restaurant or bar with friends...but it is def really difficult sometimes!

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  21. Ah, Nokia. So much simpler.

    I was much more worried about always having my camera than I am now. I still hate to forget it but big whoop I still have a cell camera.

    Can't wait to read your summer stuff, but I'm still looking forward to spring!

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  22. love the button! And I wish we could all just go back to pre smart phone. I kinda hate what they're doing to us.

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  23. Life was much simpler then, I actually miss those days. If I was bored my brain would work out some creative venue to entertain myself. Making scrapbooks, journaling, reading magazines. Now all I do is check Instagram....how sad.

    Btw, how does the linkup work? I´d love to participate :)

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  24. Love the linkup idea! I'll definitely be joining in!

    I remember all of those things you listed. A couple of years ago, I was in a fender bender and my car was still in my grandma's name (I had bought it off her). When the cop asked me for her phone number, I simply recited it. He was shocked I knew it by heart and didn't have to look it up in my phone! I was like, yeah, well... I've known it since I was 5. Hahaha!

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  25. I got my first smart phone less than 2 months ago. I am purposely trying not to let it rule my life, but it can be hard sometimes! It just makes life so much easier.

    Confession: I still freak out a little when I check an email in the car. I just can't grasp the fact that my PHONE can get on the INTERNET. What is this madness?!

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  26. It makes me kind of bummed how addicted we are to our smart phones. It's so true though, during lunch I keep my head down most the time checking all my social networks. Usually it's not even anything interesting anyway. David & I are always looking at our phones when we talk to each other too -- it's horrible! Sometimes I notice and feel guilty about it. We try not to touch our phones though while we watch shows/movies...what a weird time we live in!

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  27. In the land before smartphones, I used to pull up directions on my iPod touch when they first came out where I had WiFi, and keep it up on the screen while I drove like 8 or 9 hours to my home in New Jersey.

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  28. Haha I was just saying to an old friend yesterday that I remember my sixth grade boyfriends number...still...But if you asked me my most recent exs #? NAHT.

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  29. I still get annoyed with people when they run late. Ugh. Ha yeah, I didn't get a cell phone until I turned 16 and I was one of the first of my friends to have one. So I had no one to call but mom, who I'm pretty sure got me the phone because she was annoyed by my collect calls from the school payphone. Whoops?

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  30. Omg Mapquest!! And to think before Mapquest people actually read maps. I'm a terrible map reader. I would just be lost all the time.

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  31. I miss my old Nokia with Snake on it! Haha! Isn't it crazy how FEW numbers we all seem to have memorized these days? I know my husbands cell and my parents house by heart and that's it!!

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  32. Girl, please. I have an awesome T Mobile non smart phone AND I LOVE IT. I totes use Google Maps all the time and write down directions! on paper! with a pencil!

    I should be living in 1950. WHERE IS MY TIME MACHINE????

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  33. YESS to this link-up. I can't wait!!

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  34. So true that we used to not cancel plans, that's crazy.

    Great post! Gonna link it up with my Wednesday Confessions link up :)

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  35. Wrote love notes to our boyfriends in high school rather than sending a text like I'm sure they do these days?!! #igraduated10yearsago

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  36. So very true. I do miss all the interaction we had during childhood days. Scared to see what the future holds.

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  37. It makes me so sad to think how "un-social" kids are because of smartphones. They'll never understand the horror of calling someone's house and their dad picking up or getting kicked off the phone because someone logged onto the internet. We all survived and honestly I think we turned out better than the current generation because of it. We weren't obsessed with telling the world what we were doing/thinking/eating, we weren't trying to keep up with the Kartrashians, and we had to work for our grades in school instead of googling everything. I miss it.

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  38. soooo true! I remember when I first got a phone and thought "this is pretty cool" and left it at home all the time. Nowadays, I feel naked without it.

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  39. Yes!!! The whole memorizing phone numbers thing is so true. I can't even remember Noel's number to be honest.

    And....I still write things down with a pen and paper....I'm old school like that :)

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  40. My directional challenged-ness has benefited greatly from constant access to google maps, though I do miss being able to remember everyone's phone numbers! I can still rhyme off my first best friend's old home number, and couldn't tell you what it is now even though we still talk all the time.

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  41. Great list! It is CRAZY how much those things change your life. I've definitely been guilty of picking my phone up to look up something specific and next thing I know...I'm on Facebook or Instagram and I'm like...what am I doing here???? (because that was not the reason I picked the phone up!) Before smartphones, I didn't know a lot of useless trivia that I know now. Now, when some question pops into my head...I just google it. It can be a good conversation starter. Like the time my husband and I were at a Mexican restaurant and googled 'who invented tortilla chips' and spent most of the time before our food came discussing it. :)

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  42. This is why I love that we don't have smartphones! I like having a cellphone for safety/convenience...plus we don't have a home phone so a cell phone IS the home phone...but no smartphone for me. Back in the day, I think I had that same Nokia phone. But it was Angel who wore the puka shell necklace and I was the one laughing at him...

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  43. I remember when my mom and I flew down to Florida then rented a car to tour colleges. We had a whole stack of mapquest maps printed to get from one place to the next.

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  44. How crazy is it that we no longer memorize telephone numbers? The only numbers I know by heart (besides TJs) are numbers that I knew well before a cellphone was attached to my hand. It's actually kind of scary if you really think about it, in case of an emergency!!

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  45. i do think that the smart phone/social media is the downfall of personal relationships. i absolutely loathe it when i'm talking and people don't put down their phone. that's when i legit stop talking and walk away. rude! that said, i grew up when pagers were all the rage. folded notes were our "text messages" and magazines were our way of passing time. although i'm totally hooked on my phone, i don't do that shit when i'm with friends and i've made it a rule for myself to only check social media when i'm waiting for something (ie. coffee, in line at a store etc).

    how's that for a thursday comment for ya? :D

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

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  46. I have a friend who wanted his family to put their phones in a basket by the door when they got home at night so they could have more conversations and family time. I thought that was a great idea! his girlfriend didn't I think she is too addicted to the screen man!

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  47. True story.....I don't know Marks cell phone number. He changed it recently....but that is not even an excuse because I didn't even know the first one! I won't even drive without my know like what would happen if I got in an accident? ;)

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  48. "We had conversations with people instead of updating our statuses" Is it wrong that I'd rather just update my status than have a conversation most of the time?! hahahahah ;P

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  49. Ahhh yes....life before cell phones. It seems like ages ago, but in reality...it really wasn't! I read the first line of your post in my head like the movie trailer guy. Hehe.But seriously, no one even likes to talk on the phone anymore. They just text text text. It sort of kills personal relationships with most people. And the addiction! Oh the addiction. The struggle is real.

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  50. I've only been a smartphone user for about a month but I've already found myself being on it way too much!! I'm going to get better about setting it down and interacting with those around me!

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  51. Yes, it makes me wonder how this is all going to play out with my children. Will they interact with people at all? Craziness with all the social media and smart phones. I try to make sure I put it down at night so I can just spend quality time with the fam.

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  52. I think about this a lot actually. I work with people who can barely make eye contact and tell you how they feel but give them 10 minutes after you've seen each other and they text you a 500 word message.

    We've made a rule that there are no phones at the dinner table because it got so bad with us all checking our texts and going on Twitter and Facebook.

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  53. We are so addicted our cell phones. We have 1 night a week where we have no technology nights. It's actually really relaxing.

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  54. Sometimes I miss miss miss no phones. Now it takes up so much of my time, and I let it.
    I don't know what i would do without my phone, but I miss the times I didn't have one.

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  55. I guess you can do this with smart phones too, but I remember the days I used to hide in a closet at like 3am with a cordless phone, talking drama with friends or secretly whispering to boys and trying not to wake my parents... now, there's texting! :)

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  56. It shocked me the other day to realise I didn't know my new home number and before smartphones I would have known it within days! It's ridiculous how much we depend on smartphones...

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  57. Oh I kinda miss puka shells, but not the hair being ripped out from my nape! It's so hard to believe how dependent we have become on technology in the last decade!

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  58. ok between this post, erin (two thirds hazel) and i feel like i'm leaving one out.. i am a mess. i don't know why. i'm so nostalgic and as much as i think i can't live without my iPhone, I miss when the times were simple. i am trying to be better about not being on it when people are talking to me or when my kids want to play or do something interactive. thanks for this!!! <3

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  59. I love everything about this post. So true! We actually lived in the moment and weren't too busy documenting it for the world to see on some form of social media!

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  60. Before cell phones I totally had a pager and thought it was the coolest. I even had a boyfriend ask me out in pager code 111177 4011 60 0117 111174 1133? Ha, still totally remember it too!

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  61. Haha.. the second line on a phone being busy because your folks were on the internet! Dial up!?! Remember that awful sound it would make!?!

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  62. I really miss life before smartphones and social media. Don't get me wrong I am definitely all over social media and I love it, but sometimes I find myself going from screen to screen, app to app, and I just wish the screens weren't there to entice me when I don't even want to be on them!

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  63. Oh the good ole days! I used to love my nokia phone and had so many cases for it! Then I switched up to the sidekick and thought I was super cool. :)

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  64. ohh how I remember saying mapquest that shit, and now its turned into google that shit. haaa

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  65. MAPQUEST... you know, I was just thinking about mapquest the other day.... I saw a girl in a mercedes (a really really nice one) holding up paper map directions.... I just couldn't imagine WHY she needed paper directions... heck her car I'm sure had navigation!!

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  66. Oh yes, the world before smartphones...

    The other day, I was thinking about how we couldn't cancel plans on people because there was no way to get ahold of them. We were so much more considerate back then.

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  67. I miss SO many of these things. I hate how much cell phones have taken over. I'm bad for it but my boyfriend is horrible. I want to propose a change to our routine with my boyfriend - at least one night a week with zero cell phone access. Unless there's a phone call. I'm not sure he could do it but I really am sick of the cell obsession.

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  68. I love my smartphone and I think they're fab for several reasons but they are causing people to seriously lack communication skills. All anyone does is stick their head down and look at their phone, to avoid having to interact with other people. It's really kind of sad. And the kids in high school now, don't really remember a time before cell phones. Sigh...I am now feeling old. Haha...

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  69. This is brilliant! I think we have lost the art of conversation...I now my husband and I are at fault for this- we defo need to spend more time talking- we even watch tv whilst flicking over our phones and ipads its really bad!
    Katie x
    http://www.missenchanting.co.uk/

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  70. Things have become crazy since the iphone and searching the web on it. I can remember actually being out with people and not having all these tasks to do like taking photos of food, checking in, tagging. I feel its gone a little too far.

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  71. bahahahaha… All the time I wonder how different life would be without cell phones! I am pretty proud that I have everyone's numbers still memorized though!

    xx
    Here&Now
    Enter my current giveaway!

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  72. Instagram is the FIRST thing I scroll through in the mornings just after waking up. My boyfriend makes os much fun of me and watches and comments "selfie, dog, food, baby, dog, selfie, food, lots of girls, baby, group of girls again" etc. It's so true and pathetic how engrossed in it I become FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. We often play the phone stack game at the bars, so we actually socialize in the right settings. Nothing looks dumber than a group of people out somewehre staring at their phones.

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  73. I'm actually pretty proud of myself, because I hardly ever use my phone. Yes, I use it for directions and I totally cancel more plans than pre-smartphone, but I'm NEVER on it when I'm with Will and if I'm at home I can't even find it half the time. As a matter of fact, I do look at magazines in the check out line still, haha. I wish I used it more to make keeping up with blogging easier, but I think I'd rather not be attached to my phone.

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  74. What the heck did we do when we were waiting on someone who was late?!? haha!!

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