When going through my old notebook the other day I found a whole page I wrote up describing an elaborate plan to convince my parents to get me a cell phone. It was a great plan if I do say so myself, complete with “free phone deals” and “I can call you when I need to be picked up from basketball games” persuasion. Unlike the rest of my friends who began texting each other in 7th grade, I did not get my first phone until the middle of my sophomore year of high school. Much to my dismay, this phone was not the snazzy juke I asked for in my notebook, but instead a hand me down flip phone which still held a picture of me in my 5th grade play. Needless to say it was the joke of my friend group for a long time. But looking back that 7 year old phone gave me the least amount of problems than any of the smartphones I have been dealing with recently.
I finally upgraded to the iPhone of my dreams at the end of my junior year in high school. I thought it was the best thing since the White Album and my addiction slowly formed. I have never been a good texter, which I partially contribute to not getting a phone for so long, but I am addicted to Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and the other great social media apps the apple/play store has to offer. In my pre-smartphone days I spent my free moments observing and talking to people in my vicinity but the iPhone allowed me to constantly connect with people miles away, like their pictures, and explore brain rotting pop culture articles.
Now we are really going to get deep here so grab a glass and sit back… searching thoroughly into my thoughts and analyzing the past few years of my life I have seemed to come across what I think is a direct correlation between my happiness and my phone status. Let me explain.
First, before all the distractions handed to me on my smartphone I spent all of my free time focusing on my interests. Truly relaxing my mind, reflecting on myself, NOT obsessing over the latest facebook drama. So many studies have been shown that our minds need to actually relax and recharge without electronic screens glowing in our face. Although I haven’t realized this until recently (as my phone has not been working properly, surprise surprise $200 pieces of junk) I really need this time.
Second, it has led me to constant worrying and overthinking. Before if I did not hear back from my friend or significant other I just assumed they were busy and would get back to me later. Now with read receipts and twitter news feeds I am constantly in a state of paranoia that they don’t like me anymore or think I am annoying. I sent that text at 9:00am and they haven’t answered me but they posted a status on Facebook… what did I do. Nothing. The answer is nothing, they just have other priorities and thats normal. But I still constantly refresh my feed.
Third, all of my friends get mad at me because I am not the most avid responder. I know, totally contradicting to my second point where I expressed my anxiety of non-answered messages, but it is the truth. I do not like to be connected to the world at all times. Although when I am sitting around alone I will be scrolling down Instagram to waste time, I still try and not use my phone when I am with other people. When I am not answering someone it’s not because I am purposely trying to ignore them but just because I don’t feel like having my cell phone out.
So after this wordy rant I will finally get down to my original point of business. I have come to the conclusion that the best way for me to connect is by disconnecting, or switching back to that old flip phone. I hope that this will give me that recharging time back that I have been missing for so long. I hope that it will allow me to get back on track and focus on what is right in front of me and what is really important. And for all those Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest connections, I still have my computer. My iPod can be used for both music and my camera AND *added bonus* I will save $$$.
So all I can see is that by losing, I am gaining.