“I wonder if they have texted me back yet” Checks phone, nada. Places back on table
“I wonder what’s trending on Reddit?” Picks up phone. Finds same stuff is trending as 10 minutes ago. Places back on table
“Did that client email me back yet?” Picks up phone. Nothing new since an hour ago. Places back on table.
“I should probably put it on vibrate just in case though…” You get the drill
I’m not proud to admit, but I am ADDICTED to my cell phone.
I thought I would never be one of those people. I thought I was to smart to fall into that trap.
Like how so many people think they are to smart to fall into a cult then, two weeks later, they’re speaking tongues and drinking goat’s blood through a silly straw.
But I wasn’t to smart for this silly sounding addiction, and odds are, you weren’t either.
According to this article by Comscore, 81% of all cell phone users are operating smartphones, and those smartphone users typically spend roughly 3 hrs on their phones a day. That’s a lot of time to be checking Facebook or crushing candies.
You know when you go to get lunch with a friend, and they put their phone on the table right next to them?
Sometimes leaving it face up so they can quickly respond to any text they may get, or they could have no shame at all and just pick the damn thing up every 3 minutes to check Instagram while you are trying to tell him about your recent engagement.
Cell phone addiction has become so ingrained in our culture that now there is a word for that very thing:
Phubbing /ˈfəbiNG/: Noun: Informal – the practice of ignoring one’s companion or companions in order to pay attention to one’s phone or other mobile device.
If you are this person, know that you are possibly worse then Hitler (don’t worry, you can still redeem yourself).
How did it come to this?
I’m sure there are many factors, but a big chunk of the blame can be given to the crafty bastards managing the various social media platforms in our everyday life.
According to Addiction Resource, 40% of younger adults and 21% of older adults admitted to having a social media addiction. Often times even checking Facebook while in the bathroom. I know this to be true because there was a time in my life I EXCLUSIVELY checked Facebook while poopin. If you saw me post between the years 2015 and 2018, I was 100% on the jon.
Social Media like Facebook are engineered to be addictive. For every like or comment, your brain rewards the behavior by releasing dopamine. Encouraging you to continue posting and to spend more time on your phone.
Still, doubt that you probably have an addiction to that little rectangle in your pocket?
Here is my challenge to you: Leave your phone at home, and spend the whole day at your local mall. There plenty of things to do in most malls right? So why would you need your phone? Spend the entire day there and don’t think about your phone or social media for just one day.
If you pull it off, I will fully admit that I am a hack and a fraud and that you are cooler then me.
But when it doesn’t work, and you start jonesing to update twitter, just know you are at least in good company.
What’s the cure?
I’m not going to be a prude and say just to get rid of the dumb thing. Many of us need to have a smartphone for work. Like Lyft/Uber drivers or if you operate social media for a company.
What I do encourage you to do is to take one day a week to unplug.
Plan a Saturday out. Take the day to read or see a movie. Something, just have some sort of plan. Turn the phone off and shove it in a drawer.
Live a day without a phone.
“What if an emergency happens?” I hear you ask.
I’ll ask you this, how often do you need, I mean really need, your phone for an emergency other than that you forgot dinner and need to order Dominoes. And If something really does go down, just about everyone has a cell phone these days, and I’m sure you could borrow one.
Not having your phone in reaching distance will feel weird at first, but you’ll be thankful you did it. Since I started taking a day a week away from my phone, I’ve noticed that I feel far more rested and stress-free immediately after. And I think that’s something we could all use right now.
Do yourself a favor today and unplug and unwind. Maybe even go rafting at your local river instead of watching your friend Kyle do it on Instagram.