Quick anecdote for you (I’ll draw it out a little to set the stage) that I’ve been meaning to share for quite some time now. (Probably a year… running theme.)
We live in Manhattan. Up-uptown Manhattan, where the rents are still affordable, although not really. And my daughter goes to school pretty far downtown where the rents are obscene. Not stratospheric, but obscene. It’s about a 5 mile trip, and by New York standards, actually I guess by any standards, having a 5 mile commute to your local zoned public school is a hike. And every day, we take that hike on the subway. Good times.
Recently I, ashamedly, got a little lazy and started giving my smartphone to my daughter as soon as we got in the subway car so she could play Minecraft and make our commute as placid as possible. But I’ve gotten better, I swear. She now reads two books to me before she gets to play any games. Regardless, at some point, every morning, she’s got my phone in her hand.
Anecdote within an anecdote: I won’t go so far and be so dramatic to suggest I feel naked without my phone, but when I don’t have it, I notice it. Specifically, since I don’t wear a watch anymore, I rely on my phone for the time. And when every minute is precious in pursuit of avoiding the dreaded “late pass” (remember those?) I need to be decisive on whether to switch to the express to save 7 minutes or stick it out on the local for simplicity’s sake. And to make that decision, I need to know the time. So I ask. Most of the time I get a confused look as if I’m asking them to interpret a New York City parking sign. The remaining few are shocked that someone’s actually asked them for the time – I guess after all, if the shoe was on the other foot, I haven’t been asked for the time in 17 years so perhaps both reactions are totally legitimate. And then the scramble – most, if not all, of these people are already looking down at their phone with the time in clear site, yet start fumbling around trying to find their watch, and then realizing they can just look right back where they where looking… high comedy. Every time.
So my daughter’s sitting and playing on my phone. And I’m standing in front of her, watching her play. All of a sudden I see a text pop up up on the screen. My daughter quickly decides it wasn’t important enough to interrupt her game, so she quickly clicks “Ignore” and continues on.
Me: “Sweetie, you can’t do that. Now Daddy doesn’t know who messaged him.”
And then, without skipping a beat, the random guy sitting next to her chimes in:
“It was from Kevin.”
Me: “Thanks man.”
“Living just enough, just enough for the city.”
World it’s on.