Smartphones: Intolerable Convenience

I hate smartphones. They keep me distracted from what I want I need to get done with hours of endless entertainment and the internet at my finger tips. I’m reachable 24/7 through a text, a DM, a call; my alone time is never truly spent alone. I have a constant stream of information in my pocket that society tells me I need to keep up with to stay connected with people around me. With all these connections how is it they seem to interrupt every connection I make at one point or another?
A casual glance down at an incoming message, a need to look something up right in the middle of a conversation because it “relevant”, an important email coming in that takes you away from your friends even though its your day off. They connect us to everyone we don’t have in front of us and pull us away from those who are with us here and now.
What can we do to mediate this? Having no cellphone get together with friends? Has it come down to us having to set aside a specific time where we swear to only interact with those who are directly around us? That promise use to be intrinsically tied to seeing someone in the first place.
I’m not coming from a morale high ground to these statements. I’m mad at smartphones because they conveniently let me make these mistakes. They make it easy to give my attention to something that has no relation to what I am doing in the moment. They make it easy to pass up a hard conversation for something that is more lighthearted. They make it easy for me to find something I am more interested in elsewhere, when a conversation drifts from a topic I care about.
They make it easy to ignore anything and everything around me.
Are smartphones worth it? Are they worth the time they can steal from us with being more convenient than what is happening around us?
They are, smartphones are amazing tools of knowledge, fun, and protection wrapped into a pocket sized device. While writing this I realize that all the things I hate about cell phones are actually personal choices I have made that I regret. Glancing at my phone during a conversation, checking out of a discussion for something more appealing, answering an email that could have waited. I have let convenience win over connection.
Do I truly hate smartphones, no. But I do hate that I have at times allowed myself become lax with responsible use of my phone. While its easy to blame an object in most cases it is to divert blame to keep from having to do work on our self. We all can take a look at our relationship with out devices and make sure they are not removing us from the personal relationships around us.