I am absolutely addicted to my iPhone. I'm not proud of it--in fact, I'm ashamed. I hate that if I don't know where my phone is, I panic and call a search party to help me find it. I hate that when I'm in elevators, I look down at my phone instead of making conversation with my co-workers. I hate that I look down at my phone at red lights (I really hate that I do that). I hate that my phone is the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I look at before I go to sleep at night. I hate that as I'm writing all this, I've glanced down at my phone several times in between.
Yes, I know hate is a strong word. Hear me out. Checking my phone has become a reflex. What could have possibly happened in the past six minutes that urges me to look down at my phone? Most likely nothing. It's like I'm not allowing myself to be bored anymore. I've always been taught that from boredom springs real imagination. Instead, I'm mindlessly scrolling and thinking about nothing. I wish I was fully engaged and interacting with the people in front of me rather than reading the latest political sound byte, scouring several real estate apps or looking to see what others (largely people that I don't know) are doing through their social media platforms. I'm conditioned to demand an immediate response; instant gratification is the norm these days. I think about my own experiences growing up and how the agony of waiting taught me to have some patience (something I'm in dire need of these days) and it's easy to fall back on the nostalgia factor--'in the good ol' days, we used landlines' and 'I didn't get my own phone until I was in high school--and it only made calls!' I go there all.the.time. But, I don't see our current technology going anywhere any time soon, so it's on me to figure out how to deal with my addiction.
Parenting and my own insecurities have forced me to do a lot of self-reflecting on 1.) admitting my addiction and b.) understanding why I hate it. I look at my kids, Harry in particular, and see how great he is at playing, imagining and entertaining himself and I feel gutted when he tries to get my attention when I'm mindlessly scrolling on my phone. Not only that, I want to set a good example and encourage him to keep growing that imagination (which is wild at the moment--he uses it every night to get out of sleeping in his bed alone). Also, I recently watched the movie WALL-E with him and felt like our society is heading for those living on the spaceship. The turning point for me? The part where the humans who move solely in their 'hoverboard recliners' talk to the person next to them via video screen. The person next to them! Then I realized I have definitely texted a person next to me instead of speaking to them. Oof.
My last point is not revolutionary; in fact, I think most people whose jobs rely on technology feel this way at some point. My addiction is exhausting. I feel the need to keep up with everyone and everything constantly. I don't always like the emotions and actions that invokes inside me: jealousy of people I don't know, snap judgments about things I don't fully comprehend and the need to google EVERYTHING, etc.
So there we have it. Am I quitting my phone cold turkey? Definitely not. However, I want to curb the addiction and maintain a normal, working relationship with phone. For starters, I'm going to try and be more cognizant of my behavior--especially cutting down on using it around my kids. I even thought, as I lay in bed last night, maybe I'll try and leave it home for a day while I'm at work (crazy, right?). I'd love to know your thoughts on it as I'm sure many of you have felt this way some time or another. What are your tips/tricks for weaning yourself off of technology 24/7? I need them.