I've been reading "The Power of Off: The Mindful Way to Stay Sane in a Virtual World" by Nancy Colier. In fact, last night I was reading in bed, with tears streaming down my face. Not because the book is inherently sad, but because it made me realize how often we all use our phones and ignore each other.
It made me think about my childhood, before phones and Internet were so prevalent in society. I was super creative. I was always writing, drawing, or reading. I was an only child, so I was often making up stories about my stuffed animals alone in my room. I wasn't bored. I was happy doing all of this stuff.
First the Internet came along. I became obsessed. I always wanted to be on my computer playing The Sims, talking to my friends on AIM, or doing whatever else I was doing. I honestly don't really remember, which makes all the time I spent on it even that more depressing.
I also remember when Facebook and smartphones came along. While I was on board with phones from the start, I do remember not wanting to join Facebook. Finally my friends wore me down. Even in high school and college, I thought that once I was graduated, Facebook wouldn't be a place I would want to spend my time anymore. Boy was I wrong.
Now with smartphones, you can literally be somewhere else wherever you are. You don't have to deal with reality. You don't have to deal with boredom. So many nights my fiance and I are in the same room, but both engulfed in our phones. I know we aren't alone. Phones are always in sight when people get together. We are really never one-on-one anymore. There is always seemingly something better to do or someone more interesting to talk to, which honestly makes me cry if I think too much about it. It makes me feel horrible when I realize how many times I've done this to others because it also makes me feel ignored and unvalued when other people do it to me.
I don't think smartphones, the Internet, and technology as a whole are evil. There are so many positives to connecting with others and having so much information at our fingertips. We just have to remember that we own the devices; they do not own us. There are so many times I've tried to "detox" from social media and my phone and break after hours or days. Why does it have such a pull on us?
It isn't new news anymore that our smartphones are literally making us anxious and depressed. From comparing ourselves to others online, stalking our exes, always feeling "on" and available, there are so many reasons we are literally giving ourselves anxious and depressed feelings from using this technology. We need a break.
It is especially important for highly sensitive people to re-evaluate their relationship with their phones and social media. We feel so deeply and can pick up energy from others based on what we read. To protect ourselves, we have to be careful about what we fill our minds with. Not to mention, we are very creative and being sucked into your phone can push down those creative juices.
There are times I want to get rid of social media for good. I don't know if I ever will, but I know I will keep making a conscious effort to put my phone away when I am with others and I will try to be "bored" more often. There are so many other things to do besides play on your phone and I think we all forget that sometimes.
What do you think? Do you feel addicted to your phone? Do you think it makes you anxious, depressed or boring?
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