I will be the first to admit that I am a little bit addicted to my phone. Ask anyone who knows me — they will probably agree, and I don’t mind if they do. I know I’m not alone in this addiction, not that such a fact makes things any better. But it is a fact, nonetheless, and an inherent truth about the generation in which I was raised. I grew up alongside the smartphone, I evolved as it did, and now, it seems literally impossible to live without it.
Now, let me clarify something. When I say “impossible,” I mean that quite literally. So much of our lives — personally, professionally, what have you — depend on our phones. Think about it. How much of your life would be dramatically impacted if you had to leave the phone at home? For one day! One 24 hour period!
It’s hard. It’s downright near impossible.
And that is really unfortunate.
The more aware I’ve become of my phone addiction, the more it bothers me. Now, I know that the true key to breaking a bad habit is to quit cold turkey, but as doing so would massively impact my productivity, I don’t know if that’s a feasible option right now. That said, I have been challenging myself lately to find times where I can go without.
Now, there are of course already certain times where having my phone anywhere near me is entirely out of the question. I put it away any time that I’m at church or writing in my journal or reading the Bible. I put it away for family dinners and other “important” events. But what’s to say that I shouldn’t deem every dinner important, every event worthy of my full attention? Especially things where it feels so natural to have my phone with me because, frankly, I always have.
Take date night, for example. This is one that I’m especially aware of because it feels really unfair to keep my phone out. I generally try to keep it in my purse, but I am guilty of mindlessly scrolling while we’re driving, or waiting to be seated. The boy is incredible with how little he uses his phone in general. He, I’d say, is definitely not addicted. So I try to pay him the same respect when we have dates. There are even some dates that I put the phone away altogether. I’ll switch it off (but not before texting my mom and my best friends that they can reach me via him if she needs to, because that, too, is a state of the world in which we live… being unreachable is unthinkable).
Or, just lounging around the house. Back when I did my 40 days without Netflix, I also started to challenge myself to put my phone out of reach when I didn’t need it. If I’m reading, I try to keep my phone on the charger, out of arm’s length. If the boy and I are cozying up to watch Pokemon, I’ll put my phone on a different table.
Now, I’m not saying I’m great at doing it all the time. In fact, more often than not, I must admit that my phone is still glued to my hand, but I am certainly attempting to be more conscious about it… which, inherently, leads me to be more conscious about life, in general. And I love that.
So, I’m curious. Do you have a phone addiction? What steps do you take to break away from the screen?