Let’s face it: you’re addicted to your phone. From texting to Instagramming, we are on our phones from the time we wake up to the time we fall asleep. New phone releases bring as much mania as black Friday sales at Best Buy. And with new phones rivaling tablets and laptops, we’re glued to our screens now more than ever. Forget having your nose in a book — is your nose glued to that effervescent light beaming from your phone screen?
If you do these five things, you just might be addicted to your phone:
If your phone is just finger-length away from you, you have some attachment issues. We’ve gotten so used to having a phone on us, so this close-proximity seems normal. But, truthfully — needing to know about our latest twitter updates (or responding immediately to each text) comes in sounds very similar to the average crack addict. We’re constantly posting, and at this point, Instagramming has become a recognized verb. You can do everything on your phone from paying your bills to dating, so why not be attached? Well, for starters, you might want to be hands-free for, I don’t know — driving or eating? Your phone isn’t helping you do either of those, so put it down.
First of all, this is one of the worst and most dangerous habits you could possibly have. I’ve been guilty of this, but there are Bluetooth headsets for a reason! Besides getting a horrendous ticket for being caught using your phone while driving, you could hurt yourself or someone else. If you can’t drive a few miles without responding to a text or checking your Facebook, then you’re addicted. Remember the good ole days when you didn’t know what every one of your friends were doing every minute of the day? Yes, those were simpler times, and your life would be much simpler and safer if you saved those updates for a time when you’re not operating a heavy piece of machinery down a road filled with equally as phone-addicted people.
I grew up in a household where we sat down to a set-table at dinner, TV off. We didn’t answer the phone at all. I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 17 and my parents barely used theirs, so it was only a land-line at the Khalifeh household for the majority of my life. I still believe this is the way to do family dinners. While my family was more traditional in this sense, it was the way we communicated and shared our days (uninterrupted by outside influences) that mattered most. Life will go on if you miss your favorite show or don’t respond immediately to the 75 group texts that are a nightly staple from your favorite girlfriends. These days, we have DVR and on the IOS 8 update, you can leave or mute group texts. So what excuse do you have now? Put down the phone and be present. My dad still gets mad if I’m on the phone while we’re out, and honestly, why take away from time with my family to answer your text? You all can wait.
If you don’t remember conversations between friends, or if your significant other’s smartphone behaviors are the source of your daily fights, then your phone is taking over your life! Our lives are about memories and spending time with the people we care most about. If we can’t be present in those moments, we end up alone with a phone that can hardly talk back (and Siri doesn’t count). Your smartphone is not going to come alive and be the lover you always wanted. You can still have an online presence and communicate with friends and family without being glued to the screen. Find a balance and stick to it.
These days, kids have smartphones in elementary school — but do they really need them? I never needed a phone to be picked up from school. I waited for my mom at the same spot everyday. I took the bus and walked home in high school. A phone wasn’t going to make or break my routine. While phones are very useful for in-emergency situations, call boxes still exist on the highway and if I needed help as a kid, I could’ve knocked on someone’s door or gone to my school office and waited there. As adults, we have our phones on our desks in class and in the office. We are texting, tweeting, taking selfies, all while work and instruction are happening in front of us. We are neglecting jobs we are being payed for and classes we are paying for to feel more “connected.” Truthfully, we walk away doing half-ass jobs at work and only taking in a fraction of our classroom lectures. Not to mention, this constant phone use is disrespectful to your professor and hurting your viability at work during a time where jobs are not easy to come by.
If any area of your life is suffering due to your phone usage, its time to put it down and take a look at your life. Nourish your real relationships. You can still share your world and communicate, but do so sparingly. And if you’re reading this on your smartphone, I don’t blame you — keep reading, but take a break, step outside, read a book, and live a real life — sans smartphone.
Photo by Waag Society