I love technology, but I already have problems with distractions -- when I'm talking to someone in a room where the TV is on, for instance, I find my eyes being drawn to it instead of the other person. I'm also introverted by nature, and on the rare occasion when I do have a smartphone in hand, I tend to retreat into electronic pacifier mode rather than looking up and engaging with the people around me. Introversion isn't a failing, per se, but I believe I should overcome these tendencies if I want to keep making friends. For these and other reasons I've made the deliberate choice not to own or carry a phone, tablet or other portable electronic device that attaches to the Internet. Yeah, it's occasionally been inconvenient -- for example, Miss V prefers to have me reachable 24/7 -- but as recently as the 1980s, people somehow managed to get things done without ubiquitous portable phones and Internet access.
Of course, I'm not the only one with a tendency to mentally retreat into technology. Miss V has noticed that several of her friends will not respond to phone calls -- they will only reply if you text them. I suspect that texting, which allows introverts the luxury of taking as long as they want to respond and crafting their responses until they're just right, is yet another layer of security-blanket technology for people who are developing a phobia of real-time conversation with all its potential hazards, awkward pauses, etc. (Of course, there's no guarantee that texting will create a flawless conversation either... look up "Damn You Autocorrect" sometime when you don't have any kind of beverage near your keyboard.) But engaging with life means allowing yourself to be awkward at times, to say the wrong thing, to make a disastrous first impression and then have to spend time trying to correct it later. It means stepping up to the plate, being flawed and goofy and wonderfully human.
And anyway, there are worse things than being awkward. Being absent, for one.