9068344978_ed1f75bd27_mI have a smartphone. I use it all the time. I get updates through social media, email, and text messages. I use Google to look up any question or topic that I’m curious about. I play music. I track personal statistics, like steps taken and food eaten. My phone is ubiquitous. It’s always there, and it seems like I’m always using it.

My car has a built-in navigation system. When I got it ten years ago, my phone didn’t know how to route me from place to place. But the car does. There’s a map on a screen on the dashboard. I use it all the time. My next car won’t have this, because it’s crazy to pay an extra couple thousand dollars for something my phone can do better. And while the car itself will not have that feature anymore, I don’t think I’ll miss it that much.

I used to wear a watch. All the time. A couple years ago, the battery died. I didn’t notice. That’s when I realized that I didn’t need the watch. I haven’t worn one since. I don’t miss it.

In the Pre-9/11 days, I used to carry a box cutter everywhere. I would joke that I always had it just in case I was reading something interesting in a library somewhere. Then, I could just pull out the knife and cut out the article and take it with me. In reality, I used it all the time for all kinds of things. I stopped carrying it years ago. I don’t often miss it.

We use the things we have. We value the things we carry. Maybe if we didn’t spend quite so much time using the first amendment to protect the second amendment, we would realize that we don’t need to carry weapons with us all the time. And if we stop carrying them, maybe we’ll stop senselessly using them. And maybe — just maybe — we won’t even miss them.

Photo Credit: University of Salford