Back to life in London, where the daily grind never ends. Sitting in Costa Coffee with my laptop beaming in front of me. A couple arrive shortly after I do and take up the vacant table next to mine. A little distracted I pick up my phone and begin to scroll through Instagram. I notice the couple only shared a few words with each other before reaching for their phones, having quickly finished their hot beverages. Our phones get more attention than the company sat in front of us. And yes, that’s how long I spent on my mobile, so I’m not one to talk. In the middle of skimming through Insta, I read one post that caught me by surprise but also made me laugh
“email my mum to RSVP for my birthday party” Katie 7-years-old.
After reading that meme I put my phone into my bag and picked up my glass of mint tea, it was the only thing my hands needed to be cupped around.
It’s so easy for this tiny flat screen to take my attention. Everything I do from blogging to searching for inspiration is on my phone, so much so that I miss reality. I miss walking through museums. I miss coffee catch-ups without glimpses at the phone, “did you see that meme I sent to you just now?”. I miss outdoor adventures without the phones, each location doesn’t need to be tagged. I miss eating fine meals without the table being rearranged, “before you tuck in, let me take a picture”. I miss one to one conversations without the occasional “one sec I’ve got to take this”. I miss the phone being a part of the furniture, one that stays put on the corner table.
While I’m busy missing everything that’s not mobile-related, I reach for my phone to check a message. A non-addiction I need to curve. My world exists around a black screen. I sleep with the phone by my side, why? So my alarm can wake me up in the morning. Every now and again I feel obligated to check my Instagram. Luckily I’m not alone on this one, I’ve seen multiple surveys that hint the mobile addiction is moderately high. I, like many others, need to put myself on timeout. The wake-up call for me came during my trip to America while going out I’d frequently check my phone regardless of having Wi-Fi or not, there were no notifications yet routinely I’d pull my phone out. Whilst being present my attention was elsewhere, whether or not anyone noticed I sure did. This habit worryingly can lead to a mix of anxiety, insomnia, neediness and depression and needs to be unplugged.
Ever since I returned from my holiday, I’ve used my phone a lot less. I don’t carry it around everywhere in the house. It no longer lives in my back pocket. I keep my phone in the handbag rather than on the table waiting to shoot the food.
So here’s a question for everyone: do you spend a lot of time on your phone? if yes what do you do to cut back?