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?