Holy Cow! I just was doing some online reading (which you will see in the article 7 Scary Things You Never Knew About Cell Phone Addiction is not really the best place to do your reading) and found some very interesting and disturbing facts. Apparently, I am an addict. Which is sad because I am also a pretty normal person according to my surroundings, but apparently I am still just an addict living in a crack house full of other addicts (House=most of the population. Crack=the phone). I truly don’t even think I’m THAT bad, yet the article would argue the fact. I am determined to make a change!
Why am I so determined? I’m a smart person. Don’t get me wrong, I never went to Harvard or anywhere close. But I did get my bachelor’s degree in teaching and a Master’s degree as well. I consider myself more of the average intelligence in the world of college graduates, but I’m smart enough to get angry when I’ve been tricked or fallen head over heals for a master plan that was not necessarily put in place to benefit me at all. I have bought into the need for a smartphone. Each of my three teenagers has one as well (Oh, if I could go back in time). I have apps to track my exercise, food intake, a few games for boring moments, social media because well, part of that is good. I have music, my alarm, my calculator, texting apps (I do need to keep in touch with my family), gmail (people expect you to read them you know), my calendar (how the heck would I keep up with my three kids if I didn’t). And now that I have read the above article, I have an app to tell me how much time I spend on each of my apps.
I challenged my family to download the app as well. The results should be interesting dinner conversation which is the one time we all have to put our phones away, unless of course, we start talking about something that we saw on our phones so that we have to pull them out to share. Oh, and church time. Now that one is pretty serious. We do leave the phones in the car for church because no one wants to be the person that has their phone start ringing in the middle of the service. I was just at my son’s baccalaureate service and the woman next to me had just such a thing happen. Unfortunately, she was sitting so close that an onlooker could have mistaken it as my phone, but I tried to glare at her with just enough polite annoyance that everyone would be quite certain the sound was not coming from me. To make matters worse, she had a HUGE purse and could not find her phone that, as it turned out, was located several moments later sitting on the bench under her purse. So for reasons like that, my family leaves our phones in the car during church.
So now how do we break the “charge them in the room at night” routine especially when my oldest child, my husband, may fight me the hardest.
I go back to the fact that I am an intelligent person and intelligent people do not like to be scammed. That’s what we have been people, SCAMMED! We bought into this addiction, and when I say bought I mean really spent a bunch of money on it; initial down payment, monthly charges, cracked screen, cracked screen, cracked screen, replacement after unfortunate picture taking incident at the bottom of some pretty falls, and insurance plans due to the previous mentioned issues. All for what, to watch my teenagers walk around the house taking pictures of themselves sticking their tongues out or making other weird faces then sending them off to someone who will return their own weird picture. If you want to see a teenager panic just take their phone away before they’ve sent their streaks for the day.
Yes, maybe smartphones can have their place in this world, but they shouldn’t be our world. Today I am on a mission to pause before touching my phone and during that pause, I will ask myself who is in charge? The makers of all those purposely addictive apps or me?