Keller @ Large: Smart Phones A Quality Of Life Problem We Can Fix

BOSTON (CBS) – You never know for sure when one of these commentaries will strike a nerve, and sometimes when it happens, it’s a complete surprise.

That’s what happened Wednesday after I told the story of my phone running out of juice last weekend down the Cape, leaving me out of touch with the internet and the outside world for a day and half, a surprisingly relaxing and constructive experience.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Keller at Large Sept 19 2013

It’s been awhile since I’ve had such positive feedback on a topic from strangers on the street and from my WBZ co-workers. I take that as a sign there’s a backlash building against the smart phone, not because it isn’t useful, but because it’s so useful it’s making us useless.

Time spent checking e-mail, Facebook and Twitter is time not spent doing other things. Quality time with family or friends over dinner is at least interrupted, if not aborted by the pull of the phone.

Even a dog walk on a beautiful day can easily become office time.

Quality-of-life issues are big in the current Boston mayoral race, and the candidates are forced to respond to them by a slew of neighborhood groups where local people tell City Hall what to do, not the other way around. The next mayor will have to do as good a job or better than Tom Menino at listening to them.

Think of the insidious encroachment of the smart phone as a quality of life problem we have total power to correct.

The tech revolution was supposed to liberate us. Maybe in some ways it is, or will.

But I welcome the sound of people rising up and telling their phones: you work for me, not the other way around.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller

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