Gadgets Magazine

The iPhone Portal

Posted on the 06 June 2012 by Tombasson @tombasson

The iPhone Portal

In a 2007 interview, the philosopher Albert Borgmann makes the case that television is of moral importance. Borgmann says: “When I teach my ethics course I tell these relatively young people that the most important decision that they’ll make about their household is first whether they’re going to get a television and then second where they’re going to put it.”

I think for our generation these questions could probably be amended to (a) “Are you going to get a smartphone?” and (b) “If so, what limits are you going to place on its use?”

These are questions my wife and I are asking ourselves right now too.

We both have iPhones, and too often we found ourselves sitting next to each other on our respective phones. Too often we become distracted and fragmented as our phones beep and buzz around us. Are we going to keep them? Probably. Then how should we limit their use?

As John Pattison writes, “To use a science fiction metaphor, the iPhone is a kind of portal, one that can cause me to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually distant, even when I’m physically present. How often do I want to have that portal open?”


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