You know that feeling when you’re just about to pull out of your driveway and you realize you forgot your phone? That feeling…a mix of near panic and nakedness. It was a close call, but luckily you realized you were without it before you actually needed it. You know, needed it to check Instagram, to get directions, to be able to take a picture of anything and everything, or to entertain you when you’re sitting at Dolce. We’ve become a culture obsessed with “what else,” the fear of missing out (FOMO…it’s a thing), and the fear of not looking busy or important.
Journalist Johann Hari said in a recent TED Talk, that can be found at https://www.ted.com/talks/johann_hari_everything_you_think_you_know_about_addiction_is_wrong?language=en, that “We’ve traded stuff for connections, and the result is we are one of the loneliest societies there has ever been.” He was comparing people’s addiction to their phone to drug addiction. You may laugh, but, is it any different? Can you go with out it? Does it consume you?
Our phones can ruin our mood. Researchers found people spent 15% of their leisure time checking their phones and this distraction can affect their moods making them unhappy. Our phones are ruining our faces. ‘Tech face’ is now a thing. Think dark spots from the UV light being emitted, wrinkles around your eyes and on your neck from squinting and keeping your head bent down, and more. Social media is also helping as much as it’s hurting. Experts found when you go to Facebook and look at your friends you feel happier that you have seen them. They said this “high” can be addictive and make a person obsessed with the social media site. Making someone so obsessed, they ignore the real life relationships.
So what do you do to combat this? Put the phone down. Not forever, I’m not an idiot and I would never ask you to do something I wouldn’t do. I live on my phone. Put the phone down when you’re out to dinner with friends or family. Put the phone down when you’re driving. Give yourself a limit of taking your child’s picture while they’re doing…anything. Actually watch them play. I promise you’ll remember it.
It’s nice to have the answers at your fingertips, to have pictures to recall every single moment of every single day, and you look cool when your Snapchat story is filled with all the awesome things you’ve done. It’s also nice to be present, to be connected to the tangible things around you. On your list of 1,000 followers, you won’t even realize when one unfollows you. You’ll notice when you lose someone in real life.