Call me, before I disconnect
Today’s Daily Prompt: Describe your relationship with your phone. Is it your lifeline, a buzzing nuisance, or something in between?
My relationship with my phone is unhealthy. I am dependent on a gadget and I have convinced myself that it’s my lifeline – my connection to the world. I can’t even count the times I check my e-mail accounts a day (even when I’m not waiting for anything) or how many long and important conversations I’ve had through text messages. My phone does come in handy when I want to Google an address or phone number on the go. I can’t even imagine what I would have done *gasp* back in the day before smartphones invaded the market.
But all my phone usage put together pales in comparison to my obsession with social media platforms. I have been trying to take a step back and analyze this need to check Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Pros of social media? The networks help me keep track of friends and reconnect, they’ve become my number one news source but they are also a harsh and unnecessary spotlight on my daily life. Why do we put ourselves under scrutiny and later complain about the invasion of privacy? And what comes out of sharing the details of our life other than a strange gratification from the acceptance we receive in the form of likes, comments and followers.
I was in Jordan last week and despite picking up a local SIM card, I experienced some connectivity problems. There were times when I could not check Instagram and Twitter because the connection was not fast enough. I am ashamed to say that it drove me mad! I do not like this reliance on my phone, it’s almost an addiction. Luckily I’m aware of it. I have tried justifying my relationship with my phone by telling myself, “at least I’m not like [insert name] who can’t maintain eye contact for a minute before she grabs her phone!” or pointing out how [insert another name] walks around with two smartphones and a pained look as though technology is strangling him or her. It’s true that I’m not like that, I’m not there yet but I do need to slow down and put my phone away.
And maybe it’s as simple as that! Having my phone out of sight is supposed to help me cut down on wanting to fiddle with it. I’ve been trying to keep my phone in my purse when I’m out for a meal with friends or leave it in my room before going downstairs to sit with my family. I also remind myself of Costa Rica where I experienced connectivity problems. After a while, I got used to being disconnected and it wasn’t so bad (it only felt like I time traveled back to the 90’s). I am proud to say that I survived without being constantly connected to the internet. I may have even enjoyed my time more away from the distractions of a hyper virtual world.
You know what’s weird? I was planning on writing about this particular topic because I have been trying to untangle myself from my phone for the past week. Thank you, Daily Prompt for making it easier for me. My beloved phone and I are ready for therapy. We understand that’s important for us to spend time apart.