Breaking cell phone addiction
We all know we’re attached to our smartphones, but sometimes the addiction doesn’t really hit us until we’re left without it. Part of the addiction to smartphones stems from our worry that something enormously important will happen while we’re incommunicado, and we will be left out. But the main reason the addiction stems is because “everyone else is doing it.”
These past weeks, I have gone through a roller coaster of emotions due to the fact that my iPhone broke and I had to get a replacement. I spent an entire week with no phone and another week with a broken replacement which resulted in yet another week without a phone. I am not going to rant about my cellphone company or curse Steve Jobs. Rather, I am going to enlighten you on my experiences without a cellphone.
Since I was not able to post on Instagram or Snapchat my friends, I relied on the prehistoric methods of email, Facebook chat and Twitter direct messages to communicate with others. While I soon became used to life without a phone, the people around me didn’t. I was able to go days without checking using GroupMe, but my friends continued to use it around me and whine about how I wasn’t a part of the conversation.
I am becoming part of the conversation now; and I am conversing to YOU about cellphone addiction. I used to be one of those people advocating for others to “go a day without cellphones” or “look up at the world around you.” Although these are attempts at breaking the addiction to cellphones, they are not the solution. The real reason why you can’t put down your smartphone is because no one else will put theirs down. To put it simply, without our cellphones, we have an extreme case of FOMO (fear of missing out).
Without my cellphone I had the feeling of absolute clarity to the world. I began to realize things on my daily walks to class I hadn’t noticed before due to my head being down. I thought of days before my cellphone. If I had survived those days, I could survive today. Yet, without my cellphone, I began to feel that l was unconnected to the world. Countless thoughts passed through my head each minute. “What if someone needs to reach me?” “What if there is an important message on Facebook or Twitter?” “What time is it?”
There is no way for society to cure it’s addiction to smartphones without everyone fighting the dependence at the same time. If one person puts down their phone, others will continue to use theirs and the person will break their resistance in fear that they are missing out on the latest social media trend. But if everyone commits to lessening their use of smartphones, society will go back to the pre-cellphone days.
I am not saying that smartphones have completely ruined our society. In fact, they bring great advancements to civilization. But what I am saying is that I think everyone could go for a few days without their six-ounce piece of aluminum. Perhaps then you won’t procrastinate on your homework. Or maybe you’ll be able to look your campus crush in the eyes, not just stalk them on social media.
Tell us how you feel about cell phone addiction and please send all of your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.Subscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter