As I walked down the street the other day, I noticed that every single person walking towards me was either on the phone or walking and typing as they passed. This is no different than any other day,really, and I’ve done the same thing quite a bit. But it got me to thinking about the depth of our addiction to our phones. It also struck me that behaviors that would qualify as a bad habit years ago are now just taken as part of our culture.
Here’s a little reality check for me (and maybe for you) on phone usage habits. Take the quiz below and see how you rate:
My phone is the first thing I grab when I wake up. 1) Absolutely! It’s right on my bedside table 2) Sometimes. It depends if I fall asleep on it or not. 3) Never! I put it in the other room before I go to sleep.
I bring my phone with me into the yoga room/gym/studio when I exercise. 1) Of course! How else would I get that good selfie while exercising? 2) Sometimes. It depends if I’m waiting for an important call/text/email from my boyfriend/girlfriend/boss/BFF 3) Never. That time is sacred and for ME!
I have my phone on the table while I’m out to dinner with my sweetie, friends or anyone else. 1) Definitely. It’s great for looking up the answer to that nagging question that comes up in conversation via Google. 2) Sometimes. Depends if I’m waiting for a text about plans for the rest of my night. 3) No way! Who can eat and check their phone at the same time AND have a conversation with the person across from you?
I text while driving. 1) Yes 2) Sometimes 3) Never ever. Come on. We know you do it. Just be honest here. It’s just a good reality check.
I routinely text/type while walking. 1) Most definitely. It’s the true definition of “multi-tasking.” 2) Sometimes. If I have a lot going on, it’s a great way to stay on top of it all. 3) Never. I’ve walked into a pole and decided that was it. Never again!
I’ve ordered coffee/paid for groceries/completed any kind of “in person” sales transaction while on a phone call. 1) Yes. Unfortunately, it happens. 2) Sometimes. If the timing is such that I get to the register when I’m still on the call, I do stay on the call. I might tell the person to hold on. 3) Never. It just feels strange to be talking on the phone while completing the transaction with the person.
So, how did you rate? Here’s is how things rank out:
Mostly 1’s: You’re seriously addicted. The good news is there’s a way to break some of these habits if you set your mind to it. If you’re old enough to remember a time when you didn’t walk around with a Smart Phone, it’ll be easier to break some of these habits than if it’s all you know. The “texting while driving habit” is the most serious, from a safety perspective, and honestly, I have done it and I hate that I have. Start with one thing and make your way through the list. Or make your own list. There must be several things that are missing that you’ve seen out there!
Mostly 2’s: You’re on the way to addiction but there’s still hope. Without a concerted effort, you may end up in the danger zone but with a little reality check, you can build greater awareness and connection to the real stuff happening around you (I’m talking to myself here too!)
Mostly 3’s: You’ve been able to keep a healthy relationship with your phone and resist the traps that so many of us fall into while using them. Keep up the good work and share some of your wisdom here!
This is of course, meant to be lighthearted in a way and not meant in any way to come across as pejorative. Sometimes it can be helpful to take a step back from our habits and look at how we’ve shaped our minds, bodies and ways of thinking into new forms, in order to accommodate something in our lives. There’s no denying that there are countless benefits of our hyper-connected society. It can just be helpful to keep tabs on how much we’re letting these devices take over our lives.