Sometimes, that is.
We get along really well at times. I like being able to text people, getting notifications for new emails, playing Words with Friends, making the occasional phone call. And Twitter–if it weren’t for my smartphone, I probably wouldn’t bother with it.
But it is very, very easy for me to get sucked into all of it. Not checking my phone sends me into a tizzy, sure I’m missed a crucial text. The battery dies and I’m certain that will be the 5 minute drive home my car breaks down. Gmail stops syncing and I have to pull out my laptop to see if that message giving me some news I’ve been waiting for all my life has arrived yet.
I’m very good at rationalizing it though.
I was a Communication Studies major, after all. I’m a people person. These are just the ways I keep in touch with people, maintain connections that give me energy and help me feel like me.
In May I went on a trip to London and Edinburgh (and half a day in Oxford). (Learned a few things along the way, too) For the duration of my visit I was smartphone-less.
And it kind of rocked.
No texts. No phone calls. No emails. No game notification. No @mentions. At least not while I was out and about for the day.
Standing in line for my coffee, I had nothing to check. Wandering the city, I was forced to be observant. Hanging out with people in a pub, I was able to be truly present. No one could text me, no one could call me. I was fully there.
Yet as soon as my plane touched down in Newark, it was back to normal; returning missed texts, updating my parents on my hectic journey home, posting statuses lamenting flight delays.
And so it goes. Even on my 2 minute walk at work from my desk to the restroom, I often feel the need to bring my phone along to pass the time. Most of the people I pass in the hallways there are doing the same thing.
This isn’t how I want to be though. This isn’t how I should be.
This isn’t how God wants me to be.
Does this mean I’m going to ditch my smartphone? No. The problem isn’t the phone; the problem is me.
They say admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Being able to honestly admit that I hate my smartphone at times is probably a good way to start then.
It’s taking the rest of the steps that will get tricky. When I was on my trip, discovering new places and meeting new people, it didn’t seem so bad to be disconnected. In my everyday life of working and hanging out with family and friends and writing and reading and watching TV shows, my desire to constantly be connected so I don’t miss out on anything is a lot harder to fight.
But it’s a fight I need, and will continue, to fight.
Til next time…