I am a smartphone addict and the world is going to hell.

 

nomophobia-1

Nomophobia — the fear of being out of mobile phone contact.

A drastic change happened in my life this past year. I ditched my trusty old flip phone from the dinosaur age — the one I never texted on and barely used to even make phone calls — for a damn smartphone.

What the hell was I thinking?

Now I’m addicted to this soul-sucking piece of plastic and it feels sad. First sign I had a problem? If a few hours went by without checking it, my hands would sweat, my heart would pound and nothing would ease the subtle yet unnerving feeling I was missing out on something, anything (ohmygodsomethingishappeningIjustknowit!) unless I checked my phone.

The problem is, once you get that fix, you want another hit over and over again just to maintain.

Slide1

Before I went to bed at night?  Gotta check Facebook.

First thing after I had my morning coffee? Gotta check my email. And Twitter. Instagram. WordPress.

On my lunch break? Phone.

After the boss walks back into her office? Phone.

On my cigarette break? Phone. (Yes, I smoke the phone.)

While I’m on the phone? Phone.

It’s true, I’m cheating on my phone with another phone and sometimes I use them both at the same time and I don’t even care!

Now my life is a big, fat texting, emailing, messaging, instagraming, tweeting, facebooking hot mess of insanity.

I’m caught between desperately craving this fake pseudo-social interaction bullshit of likes and comments and tweets and twits, and realizing it’s all empty and useless for the most part.

Yes, it is.  Empty. Waste of precious time.

But Darla! you say, It keeps us connected! It’s social! C’monIt brings people together! The internet isn’t all bad! Some of it’s good!

No, it is not. We are all pathetic.

Fine, I’m pathetic. Because I’ve fallen for this crap. I remember when it all started too.

One day last semester I was sitting on a bench outside of class with other students, all of them looking down at their evil little phones. I was waiting for class to start so I did the natural thing we used to do in the olden days: I waited.

After a few minutes of pleasantly sitting there doing nothing, a 21-year-old classmate of mine asked “Darla? What’s wrong?”

“Huh?” I snapped out of my daydream.

“What’s wrong? You’re like…just staring off into space….” she laughed.

Oh my fucking god.

The other night my husband and I were sitting on the living room couch in the dark and both of us were hunched over, looking down at our respective tiny glowing rectangles. After a half hour of silence, we realized the TV wasn’t even on.

The TV wasn’t on! Has the world gone mad?

Last year, we used to pride ourselves on the fact we never texted. Now we’ve actually texted each other while in the same house before. Sure it was about dinner and I was very tired and didn’t want to get up to walk over to the next room to talk with my husband, but still.

We’ve fallen hard and fast for this addiction, and guess what folks, it’s real and it is sucking the life out of all of us.

Social communication has been reduced to bite-sized morsels of superficial bullshit we gobble up and spit out over and over again like monkeys pressing a button for food. Release the treat! Give it to me again! It’s never enough! Buzz! Buzz! BUZZZZ!!!

What have we lost? Eye contact. Long, meaningful conversations. The sense of touch. The ability to connect with another soul without a stupid machine wedged inbetween every interaction.

This summer I worked at a doctor’s office. My favorite parts of the day were the little moments I truly connected with a patient who is sick or dying or just lonely. Sometimes I’d rest my hand on their shoulder or help them up or give them a pat on the back and a smile. I looked into their eyes and I asked them how they were today and I actually wanted to know the answer.

The thing that surprised me most was the response. All people — young, old, women, men — their faces would suddenly soften, like a wall was slowly crumbling. Sometimes they’d start crying or telling me stories from the past or relating their dreams and fears to me. It was like a dam busted open wide. Because I actually took the time to talk to them face to face. Imagine.

And it made me think how little we actually communicate with each other today. Genuine communication about the stuff that goes on deep down inside of all of us. How much we all desperately need to know we’re not alone floating around out there, caught in some vapid interwebular net of flavor-of-the-month popularity.

But all things in moderation, right? So I’m starting to put the stupid phone down. I actually have to tell myself not to check it. I have to resist the urge all day.  I’ll admit, it reminds me of when I quit drinking coffee, it’s that much of an addiction to me.

Last week I went a few days without my phone. (I still texted my husband once though so I did cheat a little).

But I found I didn’t miss it, that hollow feeling of craving something I know is ultimately bad for the soul.

Fine, my soul, not yours. It’s just me. I’m sure you’re not addicted, right? First step is admitting you have a problem. Just resist the urge to tweet about it. Like I’m about to do with this post.

Sigh.

_______________________________________________________________

Are you addicted to your phone? How many times a day do you check it? Be honest. If you’re not addicted, let me know any tips for quitting, like say, putting the phone on a table and smashing it to smithereens with a hammer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

153 thoughts on “I am a smartphone addict and the world is going to hell.

  1. deepbluesandseafoamgreens

    I gotta say, I’m a teenager, but I never text or call anyone. Yup. We exist. The ones who don’t really mind. Really, I only have a phone to call my mum. I think I must be different, because I still socialise, but via email. With phones, I just can’t be bothered. I do other things (maths mostly) so half the time I don’t even know where my phone is!

  2. Amen, sister. I’m seriously worried about this. My daughters and their kids come over and sit with their glowing rectangles and don’t talk to each other or me. They snap chat. I have to send a text to get their attention. What can be so important? Yeah and I can’t live without it either.

  3. True story. I now have an iPhone, as does my husband. And we’re older than dirt. We text our twenty somethings sons constantly. But they don’t have smartphones. Or phones that charge up. Or email. Or Facebook. The less they communicate, the more often I stalk all of their friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
    I even check at 3AM when I inevitably get up to pee.
    Its the End of Days, for sure.

    1. Whoa, they don’t have smartphones! That is awesome, truly. I’m impressed. My son is turning 12 next month and although he’s addicted to his Nintendo DS, he really hasn’t caught on to the smartphone thing. Yet. There is hope.

      1. So weird, though. Now that I can’t keep constant track of my sons (as in, I go four weeks without knowing if they are alive), I WANT them to have iphones! They refuse.

        Clearly, they were prefer to be social outcasts than to have Mommy looking over their shoulders!

  4. I got an iPhone this year… And I love it… But I do also hate it.
    I need to be able to stay in touch, I know a lot of people quite far away including the whole of my family. But yeah, I miss talking, and writing proper letters and communicating generally without the damn thing! 😀

    1. Y’know, I suppose I am stuck with the stupid phone, at least until my contract runs out. And I do love the apps on there….I have managed to remove my facebook app and vowed not to visit the site at all anymore so that’s progress.

      I agree, I miss writing letters. I couldn’t reach my younger brother in NC and tried texting, emailing him when I thought, “Wow, I can mail him a letter!” It was a sad realization because I haven’t written anyone a letter in so long.

  5. I’ve only just started carrying mine around with me. Friends always told me off for not having it. I only carry it now since I bought a place and if I forget my keys I can get in touch with my partner and sort that out. Before I uses to live by the pub so would just sit and wait for them to walk past, now I’m miles out in the suburbs so that is no longer a possibility.

    I have friends who are addicts, they suffer insomnia but they are checking their phone in bed, that’s not going to help is it? My cat doesn’t approve anyway, if I check my phone she swipes at it. Though she does that with the remote too, she’s never liked technology.

    1. Yep, we told ourselves we didn’t need smartphones. Then we went and got the iPhone and iHell broke loose.

      But as addicted as I was, I never ever let it interfere with my sleeping. That would be just insane as sleep is my other big addiction.

      And I love your cat’s attitude! I need to get a cat.

      1. What about coffee and chocolate? Your addictions are spiralling out of control ;-D

        She has an attitude alright, she likes to remind me to change the litter when she decides to poop on the rug as a warning and then glares at me to say “Well, this will happen if you don’t do your job” She’s so bossy.

      2. I know, I’m a huge coffee/chocolate/sleep junkie, Joe. I need serious help.

        Does your cat also bring you special “treats” while you’re eating breakfast like my cat used to do? Meaning dead mice? Oh good times!

      3. You most definitely do NEED to get a cat. They are WAY more entertaining than smart phones. I went without a smart phone for years while my kids kept asking me why. I told them I didn’t need it. I was right. I do like being able to search stuff on the web when out and about, I admit. And the GPS on my phone at least is intelligent (my car GPS is dumber than dirt).

        Meanwhile, I don’t recommend beating the phone with a hammer … it’s much more entertaining to have your husband take you out to dinner to a nice restaurant on the penthouse floor of a building and after dessert, ask him to walk with you to the balcony to enjoy the stars, then casually toss the $500 phone over the railing of the balcony and say, “Oops!” Then listen for the reaction of the person who gets hit in the head. It’s like dinner theater – food and entertainment in one!

  6. mskatydids

    Great post. I remember when we tried to go back to flip phones, it lasted about a month and we were back to buying smart phones. It’s crazy to think we live on a boat, use solarE, no TV, no hot water, showers are half mile away…we don’t mind. I phone dies? GET ME A CHARGER STAT!!!

    I will say I’ve used Facebook less and less, I prefer wordpress and luckily I skipped the Instagram and Twitter fad!

    I’m 26, my younger sister is 23. She has a flip phone, always has, it’s never charged, when it is, you will likely speak to her voicemail, she’ll get back to you in a week when she finds her phone, I made her a Facebook page she NEVER uses. I have to say, I don’t know how she did it, but I’m a little jealous.

    1. Get this, I have two brothers who do not have facebook accounts! I know! And somehow they keep on living. How did they do it? I really envy them too.

      Right now I am so SO very close to closing my Facebook account. I have had enough. But honestly, I’m afraid once I start the termination sequence Mark Zuckerberg will show up in my closet one night.

      1. mskatydids

        Good luck. About a month ago I posted that I was going to be closing my Facebook account, even posting my blog as an alternative, people reacted as if I was going to kill myself. The guilt was too much, so I decided I’d leave it and just not post anything but my blog link…how pointless! Of course that didn’t last.

        I hope you can find the strength!! My Boyfriend was able to do it a few months ago, I was so proud of him!

        1. Isn’t it sad? Why are we so afraid? What’s gonna happen really? Oh no! We won’t be able to see photos of your kids anymore! We won’t be able to read about what you had for breakfast!

          Still, I can’t bring myself to do it. Yet. I think I might actually start over with a brand new FB account that no one knows about and I will be friends with no one. That’ll work.

  7. My smart phone cracked within the first two months of having it, and at&t gave me the runaround about replacing it, so I switched back to a “vintage cell” since that was all I could afford and I actually prefer it. Don’t get me wrong, I still get my Candy Crush fix and whatnot via Kindle, but I don’t feel the need to be glued to that.

    1. I think my internet/smartphone addiction was just like that Candy Crush game. Gimme more sugar! More! More! I was on level 358 and actually had an intervention with myself and deleted it completely. It was taking over my life. (plus I was stuck on that level for over 3 months)

      1. I usually just play it in the morning while waking up and before bed, BUT I play under my husband’s name so my friends don’t get bothered with notifications so I still have my problems 😉

  8. my phone has been getting worse and worse lately, and I now know i have to get it fixed. when it first started i would check it and check it, and have no contact from the outside world. A while later I worked out that if i restarted my phone it would all come through. For a time, life sucked!

    1. What’s amazing to me is how much more free time I already have now that I don’t check my phone. Now I just have to get rid of facebook. And twitter, instagram. But I can’t seem to let go of blogging or wordpress. Ah, we all have our vices…

  9. My eyes haven’t even adjusted to the light and what’s the first thing I do–reach for my iphone. I read the first few lines of this post and started laughing. VERY LOUD. Which subsequently caused my sleeping baby to wake up. So you see, there really is a rippling/evil effect.

    1. I just bought a new alarm clock. My husband was looking at it the other day and said “Hey! Look! You can actually plug in your iPhone to it at night to charge it!” And I said, “NOOOOOOOO!!!!” and threw the clock against the wall. (well, I didn’t throw it, but I did say NOOOOOOO!!!)
      I can’t have my phone within sight or I’ll go on it. After it’s charged I turn it off and put in deep in my purse in the hopes it’ll disappear in that black hole along with my sunglasses.

  10. Loved this. You couldn’t be more right; most of us are addicted. What gets on my tits the most is people (myself included) ruining a special moment by punctuating it with social media. ‘What a beautiful sunset… we should really just sit back and take it in’ [spends next 5 min trying to get the perfect shot for Instagram and another 5 min deciding on a filter]. Moment murdered.

    1. Oh you are so right. We are experts at murdering the moment! I’m guilty of this. I constantly have to resist the urge to take thousands of photos or videos with my iPhone when I’m on trips to the ocean etc. I mean, what happened to just sitting there and enjoying the real thing? Instead we all are desperate to share the fake.

      (and your phrase “what gets on my tits” made me laugh so hard)

  11. I love my smart phone. Just the other day, I was in the grocery store and didn’t have my rewards card with me. Sure I could have given them my phone number, but it was way cooler to open the app I had on my phone so the checker could scan the bar code. I’m addicted to all the cool apps that make my life better: Google calendar that automatically syncs between my phone, iPad mini (that I’m more addicted to than my phone), and my laptop is one. Others that I love are maps with traffic overlays, my Michael’s app with coupons, weather, Instagram, and the Amazon music app. Since I have Amazon Prime, (they are so losing money on me), I’ve been downloading their new free music to my tablet. Been loving it. I text pics all the time, too. Will have to find you on Instagram. Yeppers. What can I say? I’m hooked too- and just got my husband his first smartphone less than a month ago. He loves it.

    1. Oh I know I love the apps too! Some of them really are ingenious. They can make your life easier and more convenient. I suppose I will keep my smartphone (I have to, I’m locked into a 2 year contract)

        1. I do have the wordpress app on my phone and that’s an addiction because I constantly check my stats. But I didn’t know I could actually create a new blog post on my phone. I would never do it anyway, I’m horrible at texting because my eyesight is terrible and my fingers too clumsy to type.

          1. Get out! I seem to remember my husband telling me I could do this, but I’m the type who likes to use actual pen and paper to make lists. I don’t think I’d ever use my voice to write a blog post.

  12. You made no mention of casual gaming. Does that mean you aren’t addicted to Candy Crush or any of those other insidious time wasters? If so, bless you – there is still hope for your soul!

    I’m not on my phone right now, but I did see this when I logged on to WordPress to see if anyone had ‘liked’ or commented on my blog post for today. Yeah, it’s getting silly. i recently stopped ‘liking’ posts on Facebook. I comment now. Is that better? I don’t know. The blog post I read said it’d be more meaningful and make me feel connected to the people posting stuff. Now I’m just annoyed at the Facebook notifications that other people that I don’t know and don’t care about commented on the same thing. Maybe I should turn off notifications.

    I agree with a poster above that I rely on a number of the apps: Google calendar, Google maps, a sleep tracker, the alarm clock, the flashlight, a to-do list, but the rest of it… yikes.

    1. Thankfully my Candy Crush addiction was short-lived. I had to delete my account. But still my friends all insist on sending me candy crush requests on facebook.

      As for blogging, I will probably never give that up. I love writing and interacting with readers too much!

  13. I’ll still love you, Darla, only not quite as deeply.

    I am now guilty of something even more egregious: Yesterday, I introduced Duncan, my puppy, to my iPad. He quickly learned not just to tap the doggie that was running around on the screen, but he ended up in my emails and I’m quite sure read all the ones not suitable for children. Now I’ll never get to read any blogs …

      1. It’s just that all my relationships are more superficial than they once were. Aren’t yours? (And isn’t that truly the goal so that nobody can know our deepest, darkest …)

  14. I totally get this, Darla. I will admit I’m addicted and it’s sucking the life out of me. It’s tough to put down. Yes, yes, I agree with everything you say about it. Sometimes, I leave at home instead of taking it with me on an errand. Baby steps, right? I then feel naked and vulnerable. I’d like to check it less, because mostly it feels like a waste. Maybe what I will do is bring a book and read that instead of checking my phone. I’l try it. Good luck quitting it, or at least doing less of it. I totally understand. It’s the healthy thing to do.

    1. Yes! You do feel naked and vulnerable without it. I still bring my phone with me on long walks. I tell myself it’s for protection/safety. I have never gone on errands without it yet. God, that would freak me out! Sad huh.

      And that’s what I try to do when I’m waiting somewhere, I take out a book and occupy myself that way. Teeny tiny baby steps.

  15. I can totally relate to this post! I’m at college but I don’t have a smartphone (currently using a 14-year-old indestructible Nokia! 🙂 ) and when I’m waiting with friends to go into class, they check their phones all the time. I think it’s rude to constantly stare at a little screen when you’re waiting with someone who isn’t, especially when you’re trying to chat with said person and they answer you without even looking up from their screen!

    However, I will admit that I have an addiction to checking WordPress on my laptop. 😉 But when my final year of college starts this fall, I’m going to have to wean myself off procrastinating….I have a dissertation to write. Argh!

    1. What’s weird about this addiction is you don’t even realize you have it. I remember last summer my brother and his 13 year old daughter visited and they both sat on other ends of the couch staring down at their phones. I only had my flip phone at the time so I kept thinking, “What in the world is so important they can’t even look up from their phones??” Now I’m the one always looking down at my stupid phone.

      So far this week I’ve managed to delete my facebook app and take facebook off my computer. This is big for me. I only fear some people might think I’m dead now.

      As for WordPress, this will always be my addiction I can’t kick because I just love blogging.

      Good luck with your dissertation!

  16. I’m not a smartphone junkie (I don’t think) — but I am in front of a glowing screen more than I ought to be. I actually have to be for work, but I could certainly cut back.

    If I find myself stuck online for too long (like recently…[shame spiral]) I feel myself getting too navel-gazey and depressed. The cure for me is to go out and talk to people and take action. Doing stuff is the ultimate virtual reality. It’s virtually real. Amazing.

    1. Good point, it’s simply being in front of a glowing computer screen that seems to deplete me of energy. I feel so mentally drained sometimes, even after commenting on my blog or writing a long blog post. It’s time-consuming and even though I enjoy it, it’s probably not good for my eyes or my brain for long stretches of time. What helps is going outside and playing soccer with my kids which I’m going to do in a few minutes to remember how to live in the moment again.

  17. Personally I’m dreading it when my dear little Nokia PAYG dies.
    Hubby’s didn’t react too well to the washing machine (it survived once, blew bubbles the second time and gave up on the third), and when his replacement had a change in their networking, trying to access their ‘help line’ was a nightmare and the thing ended up in the bin as it was no good to anybody having been ‘disconnected’
    We’d had our phones over 3 years before we realised they sent and received text messages!

    1. ha! That sounds like us. We had our old cells forever when one of my friends asked if she could text me. I said, no and she told me I could actually text on my old phone. I had no idea! Granted texting on my flip phone took forever though so I never did it.

      That being said, I do think texting has it’s place and is a very convenient way of keeping contact with someone so I probably will never give up texting my son or my husband in short bursts.

  18. Until I read your post and the many comments, I felt so alone in my Facebook addiction. I’ve been forcing myself to read more actual books, less Facebook. As much as I love to read actual books it’s painful not to be checking for new things on FB every 2 – 5 mins. Day at a time, eh?

    1. I hear you, I do. I have gone one whole day without checking facebook and it was hard. Gah. But I have a feeling once a few more days go by, I’ll miss it less and less and probably never go back.

  19. I was the same way until about 2 years ago when I did pretty much the same thing, texting wife in the other room. I post something on Facebook, she goes, ‘Oh posted something to Facebook huh?” More a comedy than a tragedy.

    1. Too funny. Well, my husband had a Facebook account but has never actually GONE on facebook. He thinks it’s the dumbest thing ever invented. His account was set up for our son because I didn’t want his name out there on the internet.

      1. I found it a little useful several years ago so I could stalk old high school classmates that I hated, but then realized they are all as old looking as I am (duh because they are all the same age as me). Now, it just sends out my posts to a bunch of people that don’t read my blog.

  20. Every time you start to text someone, call him and talk about it. Try to take a walk without phone. Try to go to grocery without phone. Try to go to the toilet without it.
    That’s how I try to be normal person.

    1. Good advice, all of it. It’s the little steps that will eventually help release the grip social media has on us. Today I only texted my husband once but didn’t go on any apps or check twitter or Facebook at all.

    1. That’s good it’s only for work. I’m sure that’s true for a lot of people. I will probably never give up the phone completely but I do want to minimize how many times a day I check it. If I could get it down to once or twice a day, that’d be good.

  21. Get used to the next step of the problem…having to own roughly 20 phone chargers and to plan to have one with you everywhere you go and to know where you’re going to plug it in. ‘Cause these phone batteries don’t last long with active use.

    1. Oh, I know. That’s the other panic-inducing thing at our house: where’s the charger?! Have you seen the goddamn charger??!! Holy shit my battery is at 10%! What am I gonna do? WHY lord? WHYYYYYY

  22. It’s crazy isn’t it! I remeber being at a friends house recently, there were 5 of us in the room hanging out, slowly the conversation died until we were all just sitting there on our phones!

    1. ugh, isn’t that the worst. So awkward. Before I had my new smartphone, once I felt so out of place with the other students looking down at their phones, I actually took out my flip phone and pretended to be texting just so they wouldn’t think I was a complete freak.

  23. I had a dinosaur phone, too, and never texted much. But, then an iPhone came with my new job. We have to let our team know where we are (with clients, in another office, out at a different site), which is important, but suddenly they were posting pictures of their kids at the state fair and their toenail polish when they went for a pedicure. Wow. I leave my IM function on “do not disturb” most of the time now. And yet, it’s SOOOOO tempting to read blogs on my phone when I’m in those brain-numbing meetings…

    1. It is very tempting. At the doctor’s office I worked at, not only do all the medical assistants and nurses constantly check their phones DURING work, even the doctors do. “Yes, hello, so you’re here for a pap? Okay, let’s get started….oh….hold on a sec….just gotta check twitter”

  24. When I was on vacation a couple weeks ago, I found that I let myself unplug a bit. I would get up and go to the beach and lay there in the sun and it would be noon before I realized I hadn’t even checked FB. What??? As the week went on, it got easier and easier to just let the phone be. Granted, I was using it to take pics of my kids on the beach, but had very little care about what the rest of the world was doing, generally. It was lovely. But it was a momentary break. I’m back to the addiction. Sigh.

  25. Great perspective as always!! I keep my phone close by at all times I admit it. If the phone buzzez during my work day i only respond to my house or my father…my kids ya know, the important people. In most cases I avoid social media at work…but its a great distraction at night…laundry or wordpress…vacuum pr facebook!!! These phones have conditioned us to be victims of what my kids call FOMO– fear of missing out!! Its terrifying…
    My original purpose in getting my cell was so that my kids csn always reach me and just in case my car broke down. And then my friends taught me about texting…then pictures…and Facebook and instagram and wordpress oh my!! Thats how it happened… I admit it. However i can also admit that if im upta camp and theres no reception its ok. The important people know im outta touch and will leave me a voicrmail…

    1. FOMO–so true. I think we all suffer from this. I’m still not sure why, because when I do go on social media I always find that I didn’t really miss a damned thing anyway. Yet, I keep going back. I need to spend more time just enjoying being with my kids before they move to college.

      1. I hear you on spending time…my boys turned 18 & 20 this summer. Its just a matter of time for me. I second that social media seems so repetitive yet i too admit im drawn to it like a moth to a flame!! FOMO Anonymous…my name is Kathy and I suffer social media FOMO!!!

  26. You speak truth to my soul, Darli Llama. I swore I wouldn’t be one of those people – not me, never ME. Now my husband sit side by side with our phones. Now it’s on my night stand. ARGGGGGHHH! You’re inspiring me to “just say no.” We can do it!………….can’t we?

    1. You’re better than me, Peg. I rarely see you on Facebook. I recently have sworn off visiting FB. Now I need to let go of twitter (which I never really “got” anyway….) and instagram.
      So yes, we can do it. Just say hell no!

      Are you having a good summer? Will you call me sometime? Hmmm??? I will call you but let me know when, I don’t want surprise you.

      1. I am trying not to get sucked into the black hole that is Facebook, and I’ve been shamefully absent from Word PRess. Don’t know nothin’ about Instagram or Twitter. My niece who started 5th grade today just got a smartphone. FIFTH GRADE!!!! Explain this to me, Darlbert Einstein, because I don’t get it at all.

  27. I am a recovering addict. Probably not recovering that well, in the scheme of things. I deal with it by keeping the internet off on my phone unless I specifically need it to check something (something useful, like traffic…or imdb…), and then only checking my emails occasionally. I can do really well for awhile but it doesn’t take long to fall back into the pit of checking my emails way too often (I don’t actually get that many!)…keep us up to date about any techniques you come up with!

    1. It is a total pit, isn’t it? The email will probably be the hardest thing for me to cut back on checking. Basically because every communication nowadays is through email. I rarely even get phone calls or voice mail anymore.

      My technique so far is turning my phone off and stashing it a place that’s hard to get to, like the bottom of my purse.

  28. Holy Crappers, I adore this… and your entire blog. Hysterical. I remember when I was normal… before my SmartPhone. Now I realize I have a full-blown addiction (I feel so grown up.). My contract is up this November and I’m seriously debating going back to a flip phone just to wean myself off this social media crap. I’ll probably never do it, but it’s lovely to pretend, don’t you think?

    1. Thank you! You are also my 8,000th follower! [balloons and confetti fall from the ceiling] In honor of you being my newest follower, here, have a glass of wine on me! Or a mug of coffee if you don’t drink alcohol. Or warm tap water if you prefer to live life on the edge.

      Yes, it is very nice to pretend that I will actually quit all social media. I mean, I need to get real here. I blogged about it on wordpress so that’s pretty much as social media as one can get. I will never give up blogging though (like coffee and chocolate)

  29. Take a deep breath and cancel that Facebook account. It is the MOST freeing thing! I did several months ago when I realised I couldn’t go half an hour without checking it, and I am SO glad I did! I haven’t missed it one bit – the gossip, the nastiness, the mindless forwards and appeals and warnings – UGH – like a daily shower of sewage. Yes, it was nice to be reminded of friends’ birthdays and see pictures of their kids and all, but I let everyone know ahead of time that I was leaving, posted my email account. I can still access FB on the very rare occasion that I want to check if someone is still alive, but once every three months maybe? And each time I am glad all over again that I quit.

    The sad thing is, of my couple hundred “friends”, only a few have kept contact via email. Or maybe that’s not such a sad thing. I know who thinks I’m worth some effort, and I don’t have to wade through a lot of dreck, either.

    I’ve never done Twitter or Instagram; finally got a smartphone in January and I do enjoy text and WhatsApp, but I have intentionally not downloaded any social media apps. It’s strictly a communication device, camera, planner, and source of weather information and occasionally checking things online. That’s enough for any device to do.

    1. I am seriously thinking I will cancel my old facebook account, then make a new one under a new alias and only friend people I’ve actually spoken to in real life. So my friend list will drop from 200 down to about 12.

  30. You gave up coffee!!! Are you made woman? Coffee is the only thing that keeps me sane. Phones I can live without, well for taking and texting and all that crap. I use mine as a camera mostly so it is always with me but I ignore all the email, call text stuff mostly and just take pictures. Ok so I’m addicted to picture taking and coffee.

  31. Funny, and yet, a sad post. Real communication, when people really listen to what you say as if they care, is rapidly losing out to the instant gratification of electronic social platforms.

    Darla … I’d join you in pulling the plug on the phone, but I rarely even have it on. I guess that makes me an odd ball. On the other hand, I already spend too much time on FB and WP. Like you, I know I have to cut back. 😉

    1. I’ve noticed too that everything is constantly being reduced to tiny little sound bites. We have tweets and now people are using these crazy GIFs animations. It makes my head hurt and I can actually feel brain cells dying every time I communicate online now.

  32. Oh yes! I am ADDICTED. It all started with two things really
    1. I quit my job to become a freelancer for some time (so you know I have lesser deadlines and I take work only when I feel like and so unfortunately I am so ‘free’ to give in to the addiction)
    2. I bought an incredible smartphone and damn! my life changed.

    I feel so bad about it sometimes and I wish to not even look at it but that’s how people communicate and sometimes when I really stay away from it even for 20 hours or something, I start getting calls as if the world thought I died. Ha!
    But Darla, you’ve written the apt thing. This addiction is eating us up and its making the real essence of life so negative. I have to do something about it. I hope I do.

    Great post!

    1. This is the hard thing about giving up the internet. People start to completely write you off as dead. In a way, that might not be such a bad thing. I like to be left alone for the most part anyway.

  33. I’ve been there too, Darla! This month I’ve been making changes though – detaching from social media a bit. I’ll still check it periodically throughout the day, but at a certain point at night, i won’t check it anymore. Not until morning. I will set it aside and read. It’s helped me sleep better. I’m not wired and worried I’ll miss something. Put down the phone! You will feel better. You know, as soon as the twitching stops. 😉

    1. Yes! Sleeping is good. I actually do not go online at all after dinner anymore. This is big for me. Well, I’ve only done this for a few days now, but I’m sure in time I’ll miss it less and less.

  34. When it comes to real communication, we seem to have substituted quantity for quality. The transition happened fairly quickly and easily, which probably means we never had the quality in the first place. Now I’m really depressed. I wish I knew how to text. Or tweet.

  35. I just deactivated my personal facebook page for a multitude of reasons, but one of them was that I was checking it way too much. Why go out and experience a sunset for myself when I can just look at my friend looking at one? How absurd. I’m doing okay so far, but check back with me in a week.

    Word to the wise: don’t download any of the King family of phone apps like Farmville Saga, Candy Crush, etc. You will NEVER put your phone down.

    1. Oh my god. You’re my hero. So tell me about this deactivation. How hard was it? Did your friends mind? Did you tell people beforehand or just disappear? How long have you gone without it so far?

      And I was addicted to Candy Crush. I managed to delete that months ago but I’m certain I lost a good chunk of my brain to that evil game.

      1. Well, in the two or so months leading up to the deactivation, I actually weaned myself away from it. Basically, I just posted less and less, and began logging out after every session so it wasn’t easy for me to just refresh and get back in. I made the announcement that I was leaving Facebook this past Friday, but really, I had already stopped going on it for about two weeks prior to that.

        I let people know I was leaving, and included my email address so that everyone could still keep in contact. Some people were disappointed, others thought I was going off the deep end, and a few were really supportive. I fully deactivated my account Sunday morning, but like I said, I had already been in “Facebook rehab” for awhile so it wasn’t a biggie.

        KEEP US POSTED.

      2. Facebook rehab — this is what I need. I am slowly starting to break away from it. You’re right, it takes time. My goal is to not post anything on there for a few weeks and see if I cease to exist or not.

  36. Oh, Darla. I too suffer from Nymphom—, I mean Nomophobia! Well actually, probably both. Yea, I’m in deep. But the problem is that I am doing nothing to change this. I am too addicted to change. 🙂

  37. I’ve been a lot better recently, after discivering it wasn’t just Facebook but most online interaction that left me feeling drained and without any feeling whatsoever that souls had just touched. So now it’s 15-20 minutes a day online, and it feels so, so much better.

    I used to work at a nursing home. The residents loved me, though I frequently got in trouble for excessive socialization. (Ugh.) I think about them often and miss the connection of a smile, a hug, or a squeeze of hands. They pack so much more connection into the same amount of time.

    1. Exactly. It’s that feeling of being drained I hate. I do realize the benefits of online interaction (like blogging!) and I do believe you can make genuine connections with people all over the world. but I think overall it’s more of a superficial fleeting thing because too many of us have spread our attention so thin, we have the attention span of gnats now!

  38. Oh so addicted! I went on vacation to an island where there was no wifi & to avoid overusing my data allowance, I only used my iphone for the camera. It felt like torture. But I needed the break. And soon I’ll need a hammer. I feel like I’m making up for lost time now that vacay is over! Lol

    1. That’s just it, I can go a long stretch without it now, BUT I always come back. It’s going to be a long process for me to slowly remove myself from social media stuff. I probably will never completely kick the habit though.

  39. I agree, technology can suck the life right out of us. I will use my cheapy $20 phone until it dies and then buy another. I have seen the evils of auto-correct first hand from one of my brother’s texts. I am so thankful that my 19, 18 & 18 y.o. sons don’t use cells or I would never have any peace!

    1. My son is 11 and just started middle school. The principal informed us parents the kids can have cell phones, but they must remain in their lockers the entire school day. My son doesn’t have a phone, yet. But in a way, I do want him to be able to contact me if he needs to after school or during his soccer practice. I think I’ll give him my old flip phone.

      1. Due to the intermediate school they attended (grades 5,6) all three of my sons got cells as soon as they started there, fortunately I moved them to a better school district in a new town when the twins were in 6th so I could quit replacing the phone they killed. So the voice of experience here for boys at that age: Don’t let them do their own laundry (cells die a horrible death in the dryer) if they only go through the washer they can sometimes be saved by disassembling and burying them down in a bowl of uncooked long rice. If your son likes rough neighborhood sports, baseballs crack screens, so does falling on them while playing basketball and football! If he likes to jump around doing parkour be prepared to replace them at least monthly as he will land on them when falling from very tall things he shouldn’t be on in the first place. If he always has his nose in a book, he will walk off and leave it lying wherever he last used it without even noticing. Good luck with your son’s phone!

  40. So glad to know that you’re probably not spending your Friday evening of a holiday weekend checking this little comment way down in the comment section because you are beating the phone addiction. Only have three words to say. YOU NAIL IT. Me addicted? Yes, it’s Friday evening of a holiday weekend, and here I yam.

    Featuring you this week on my funny blogs page. Congratulations on Freshly Pressed, and thank you for making me laugh. http://holdouts.wordpress.com/funny-blogs/

    Turning this thing off NOW …..

  41. Ok, I am completely new to writing on peoples blogs but I actually loved this post! Im nearly 20 and oh my gosh I kick myself for how much time I waste on my phone. It does make you wonder whether there are more benefits socially or not! Nowadays it seems everything is organised over social media and if you are not there you miss out, which makes leaving my phone alone hard. Along with it, I miss the good old fashioned meet ups, having real life company and friends just popping around for a catch up rather than messaging you. Its such a hard habit to break but it seems like when you do break it for a few days you feel better yourself in that time until you log back on and realise what you have missed. If that even makes sense! sorry for the random comment!!!

    1. You are right, everything is geared toward social media. It’s our entire culture now. That’s great that even at your young age you can see the benefits of really connecting with people “in real life”.

  42. I have a friend who is doing a “social experiment” and giving up his phone for the entire month of September. Of course, he posted all about this on Facebook, so I’m not really sure what the point is…

    1. Exactly. I think I’m kicking this habit, but in reality, I’m still feeding it by posting on this blog. I guess in the end, it’s not as if I have to completely abandon social media, I just have to use it selectively and in a way that gives me more of a sense of a “real” connection with other people.

  43. curmudgeon

    I love this post. I don’t have a smart phone, but even facebook feels like a waste of time. My worry is not only that we’re not communicating face-to-face anymore, but our social media communication is so Hollywood: trying to put the best face on everything. I worry that kids with not much life experience will take people’s facebook presence at face value and think that everyone else’s lives are so much better. I also feel without the personal contact, it promotes jealousy and snarkiness. I find myself annoyed by people’s daily pictures from their vacation on fb, but if they’d shown me a series of photos on their phone in person I would have been excited and happy for them. I’m about to get a phone that texts just b/c every single mom I know only communicates that way. But I’m scared. I don’t want to be a slave to the lit rectangle.

    1. You bring up a good point. I do believe facebook is really just a round-about way of bragging to people about how “perfect” your life is. It’s just a filtered reality. I hope to God my son doesn’t get sucked into facebook for many many years.

  44. I don’t even own a cell phone. When I say that, people look at me like I’m some sort of socially stunted misfit. I may be a socially stunted misfit, but not because of the lack of phone. It’s amazing what people say. With shock or deep concern, people have to know, “How do you get by?” It’s always a vague question like that, because people don’t have too many real uses for their phones, even if they don’t know it.
    Then again some want to know how I can feel safe. That makes some sense. If I’m in a car wreck, hurt just badly enough to be trapped, but not badly enough that I can’t reach my phone, I can call for help. If I’m being robbed though, the phone doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot of good.
    Some people tell me how useful it is, how they don’t get lost, for instance. I rarely ever get lost anyway. I’ll be as smug as a cell phoner when I point out that I don’t have to rely on a machine to find my way around. I have borrowed GPS devices for the car before, but only at the request of the owner of said GPS device. “I just don’t want you to get lost.” What I discovered is that in areas I’m familiar with, I know shorter, better, more reliable routes than the all seeing GPS does.
    If I explain any of that, I only annoy people. So instead of simply saying that I don’t own a cell phone, I poke fun at myself instead. If it ever comes up, I say, “No, I’m a caveman. I don’t even own a cell phone.” People laugh and we all move on to the next subject.

    1. Seriously, good for you. I had a crappy old flip phone forever and rarely used it. I suppose the only real good a cell phone can do is save you if you’re broken down on the side of the road or something. Other than that, it’s really useless overall. Just a gigantic time-suck.

  45. I have quite a few friends who have disregarded the social pressure for smartphones and social media networking, and have stuck to flip phones and personal contact. I find myself jealous of their bliss. They don’t waste time staring at their phone, or forgo interaction in public. In fact, they are more social, and productive than most other people I know. Their social aptitudes surpass those of most people in my generation (I am 19). When they need to contact someone, they call them, or email them if calling is not possible, and they are just as up to date as me, if not more. I wish I could throw my smart phone out, and interact the meaningful way

  46. Pingback: The Connectivity Illusion | Theory of Randomness

  47. Hey Darla, welcome to the digi-world! lol

    Yes it is very easy to get into this whole ‘obsessed with phone’ phase. I am working full-time and also do a lot of classes which keep me very busy. And my phone is my ONLY ever distraction. You can try certain things that I do to keep the digital monster from taking over my life.

    I check my phone first thing in the morning – yes, that sounds absurd but when I do that, i know I have checked all my messaged, seen all the photos uploaded on Instagram and replied back to comments on my facebook posts. Once I am done with that, I keep re-checking until I reach work. From 8am until 5pm (my work timings), I do not check my phone at all. Even while having lunch, I try to focus more on my lunch mates than my digi-mates.On my way back from work is when I check my phone again. After that, when I am back from all my evening classes and then, before sleeping. Keeping a pattern for phone checks helps me to not get overly exhaustive about it and also helps me keep myself sane.

    Hope this helps!

  48. summerloveswinter

    I’m on my twenties and totally addicted but, honestly, my iPhone has given me a more stable relationship than my ex did.
    He is available 24/7, and when he is out of battery, he only leaves me for a small moment (even when it seems eternal). Never cheat or leaves me to play video games, and we read books together, gossip on Facebook/instagram together, …

    I think we are breaking touch with the real life! So if you’ve discovered something to leave the addiction, share it! 😀

    Btw, I am reading you from Brazil

    https://summerloveswinter.wordpress.com

Tell me about it.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s