Confessions of a Smartphone addict
It got to fever point the other night on the couch when my kind and non-confrontational husband delicately said, honey, why don't you just relax and watch the tv. I'm sure in his head he was saying "put down that bloody phone." It's not like I didn't see it coming. For a few months I've felt guilty every time I've picked it up to "check" something, especially in front of the kids or mid conversation.
It takes a lot for Davey to suggest or ask something he knows i'll probably snap at. I found myself apologising profusely and saying, no please, do tell me.. like I don't know i'm addicted to my smartphone, I just don't realise how bad.
You see the problem is, no longer am I just checking every few minutes for the missed text message, (despite having ring tone permanently on loud and invasive) I'm now also checking my emails (3 x accounts), phone calls & messages, my Facebook pages (3 accounts) twitter, linked in, instagram and the communal family calendar.
Right now, I COULD be emptying the dishwasher, hanging out the washing or thinking about the family meal, but no, i'm on the lap top, smartphone 5 cm away. I don't like it. I know it. It stops me from engaging, stops me from getting things done. Before my addiction, I would garden and plant, cook and converse, and pick up a book, now I can do (almost) all that with the swipe of my fingers, or at least lust after pics from people who're actually doing these things in the real world!.
And when I finally signed up to Instagram yesterday, I realised here's another wee tool that's going to take up more precious time. But this is a double edged sword. I am freelance, self employed, I run an online business, so my livelihood depends on answering that call to work, or filling that order. It doesn't seem to be acceptable to be getting back to anyone text/message or email by the end of day anymore. We want to know your answer NOW!
I have always prided myself on being efficient, and I certainly am when it comes to anything internet and communication related, but I'm finding in "real life" my smart phone is making me live in a much more narrow world, one that relies solely on checking the phone every few minutes, rushing back inside to check a message, rather than enjoying the moment outside.
This addiction has crept up on me, and I don't like it one bit. But i'm not sure how to manage it going forward, and suspect many of you are in similar boats. Are you? Do you have rules about your smart phone use? What's worked for you? Or are you ok with living life so much online?
My first step is to have a small break away from technology - forced - we're heading off camping for a night where there is no coverage. Funnily enough I was there a couple of weeks ago with a film crew shooting a glorious story - none of us had coverage for about 14 hours.. as soon as we drove back over the hill, we all pulled the phones out as they started to beep. Worried we'd missed out. Forgetting we'd had the most amazing experience just by being, not interrupted.
In some ways I reckon these smart phones, are making us dumb. Keen to hear your thoughts below!