So I think I’ve been in denial about how much time I waste using technology. Okay, when I phrase it that way, it sounds as if I’m a techie creating an app or something but no, no I just mean I have an unhealthy addiction to my phone. It’s with me all day, every single day and while I can argue that “I might need it for emergencies!” or something else, in the entire span of 7 years since I got my first phone and the problem officially started, I’ve only had actual emergencies a couple of times. So it’s clear that this excuse is just being used to justify a problem.
My first phone was a tiny little pre-paid thing that I bought myself in fourth grade. I lost it every other day and eventually stopped looking for it because none of my other 9-year-old friends had phones, so there was no one to talk to. Besides family and ew, right? Anyway a few years and a lot of technological advances later, we had smart phones and I had a problem.
The stereotypical teenager is glued to their phones 24/7 and in my early teens I was the embodiment of the stereotype. I was either playing games or posting terribly edited “artsy” photographs with clever captions on this new app called Instagrab, Instagran? Either way I was wasting my time but back then I didn’t even care.
Let’s fast forward another few years and I’m now a budding college freshman who is into fashion and politics and social justice now! Yeah! But wait, that phone thing is still a problem and it’s arguably worse than it was a couple of years ago. Instead of going to bed at a reasonable time like a reasonable new adult, I lay awake watching Netflix or scrolling down my timeline on twitter until the sun comes out again because sleep is a myth or something right?? Anyway, whether I’m watching something on my computer or downstairs watching something on a real t.v, my phone is in my hand and I’m probably playing games or on Instagram or Minecraft or something. I catch myself doing it and immediately I put my phone down. But minutes later it will be back in my hand again because for whatever reason I feel like something is off when I’m not using my phone for something.
I wish I could blame my apparent technology addiction on being a child who grew up surrounded by it as it grew at astronomical rates, but it’s clear that this world-wide phone addiction isn’t limited only to those of us born after the year 1990. While at work the other day, a group of
way over 30 somethings stood in my vicinity talking way too loudly and enthusiastically about their adventures with Pokemon Go. One girl gave a funny anecdote about how she ventured to a popular location in my neighborhood one night and found another family playing the game together. A family–a mother, a father, and their small children all with their own phones playing a game outside in public in the middle of the night. Clearly this problem is a societal thing, but let’s ignore society for a moment and focus on my thing.
I’m trying to develop a plan to decrease the amount of time I spend using my phone. But some irrational part of me is always thinking that I need it with me at all times. I considered leaving it upstairs to charge while I did something downstairs, but oh, if it rings and it’s something important, I won’t hear it! The only time I don’t have my phone in my hand or I’m not thinking about my phone is when I’m reading(or showering).And because I can’t do everything with a book in my hand(eating,doing my hair), I end up, well I think by now we all know where I end up.
I’m trying to write more, sometimes in my journal or sometimes a random essay idea on my computer, in order to distract myself. I’m intervening on myself: I’m both the subject of the intervention and the responsible friend or family member who informs me about the problem I have. I think I’ve covered the first couple of steps so now I just have to figure out how to severe the attachment to my phone. Let’s see how this goes.