Sometimes I Feel Like I Live in Grand Central Station

In September 2011, I made on of the biggest mistakes of my life.  I got a smart phone.  I thought I needed for work, and it was helpful but at the expense of my peace of mind.  I became addicted and felt like I was always on-call.  If I didn’t respond to a text/email instantly, I felt like a jerk.  It drove my husband nuts.  A new co-worker referred to smart phones as “golden handcuffs,” and she couldn’t have been more right.

I first used a cell phone back in high school.  My dad would loan me his when I went out, and it was for emergencies only.  Then, in college, I got my own phone, which I still used for calling only.  I miss those days.

Somewhere between 2006-2012 it got out of control.  Now, I walk across campus, and people are texting, tweeting, or listening to music on their phones.  Hell, people don’t even call each other anymore – they text.  It is so impersonal; now wonder we are becoming socially inept.

I’ll be the first to admit that I love to play on facebook when I’m waiting for an appointment or read twitter while riding the bus.  But, I am am consciously making an effort to end my addiction to my phone.  I put my phone away at meals.  I disabled my emails on a vacation to Las Vegas last fall.  I set parameters with work and made it clear that I would not take emails or phone calls after hours except during deadlines.  It works – there is nothing that cannot wait until 8:30 the next morning.

With that said, I really do value my phone as a safety device.  If I have car trouble, I know help is only a call way.  Phones even have tracking devices now, which are hugely helpful but hopefully never needed.

I’m trying to use my phone mainly just for calling and limit internet surfing/facebook checking to when I’m at an actual computer.  While I’m not perfect, I am making strides.  I don’t want to miss life because I’m too worried about what’s happening on my phone.  Perhaps I will make a new friend or smile at someone who needs a friendly face.  Who knows?

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