June 5, 2013

How Smartphones Are Ruining My Quality of Life…


Disclaimer: This blog post might seem like a bunch of whining.

When I met my husband nine years ago he had just bought his first cell phone. It was one of those Nokia block phones. It was the most basic phone he could afford on his plan so it had no internet and basically was just a phone. Also at that time he didn't own a computer. To me, it was such a magical time. A time I think about often. A time where he was always aware of things going on around him, listened to me when I spoke to him (even making eye contact) and basically was a human being. I have mourned for the loss of that time in our lives. It was magical...

Fast forward nine years and he has become a smartphone zombie…

It’s not his fault.

In fact, our entire society is suffering from a smartphone epidemic. I will be the first to admit that I was sucked into this epidemic when I bought my smartphone in 2010. I had Words with Friends, Draw Something, Tetris and other games on my phone and I used to play them often. My phone was constantly beeping and vibrating and I was always so quick to check what was going on in the cyber world. However, over the last year or so all those apps have been deleted off my phone. I'm not 100% smartphone free but my goal is to eventually just use my phone as a phone. Right now, I still check my Facebook and emails on the down times (like waiting to be seen by the dentist.) However, when I’m having a meal, lying in bed or have visitors over at my house I have learned to put the phone in my purse and basically forget about it.

In the beginning it was really difficult to put the phone down. I basically weened myself off the phone by challenging myself to not use the phone as much on the weekends. I then started to delete apps off my phone that weren't really contributing to the life I want to lead. Finally, it just came down to putting the phone down and having the will power to walk away from the virtual world. It hasn't been easy at all and I'm not completely free, but the more time I stay off my phone when I am with the ones I love, the easier it becomes.

I find myself having a lot more time without my face being glued to my smartphone. It is great because I have time to do other more important things, but at the same time it is very lonely. It’s lonely because everyone around me still has their face buried in their smartphone. I get super frustrated with the way technology has somehow taken over the people I love. I mean, my brother can’t even come over to my house without his phone beeping AT LEAST a billion times and him checking it each time. My husband is constantly glued to his phones checking out the latest updates on sites like Kotaku and Reddit. I’m so damn glad that my 4 year-old doesn't have a phone because otherwise I would be SUPER lonely and bored. At least my son and I can sit down together and cuddle, talk and laugh. I hope he never gets a smartphone.

I sometimes find it ironic that I have a website but that I seldom use my smartphone to check or update my site. You would think having a website would keep me glued to my smartphone. It doesn't. Maybe I’m not as good a social network-er as the next blogger but I’d rather be living life than being on my phone. I’d rather engage the people around me and build meaningful relationships than have a close relationship with my smartphone.

Call me crazy…