It’s been creeping over me slowly, silently….a kind of disgust with our relatively new obsession with phones. And before I go any further let me caveat this post and say that I myself am included in that.
A disgust and moreover, a startling concern that took its seed from an article I read in one of the Sunday supplements about the secret life of teenage girls and their obsessively unhealthy relationship with their phones and various social media platforms. The constant checking at inappropriate times, the constant checking for likes, and so on. This sounded worryingly like me.
Then there was the time that my own three year old daughter walked into the kitchen proclaiming “I’ve lost my phone!”, in a dreaded mini me style, she was mirroring the behaviour of me, her idiot mother, who is always losing her phone and reliving her own angst via some abomination of a Hello Kitty fake iphone she got with some magazine someone decided was a good idea to gift her. Good job. Let’s start them young yeah?
The next day, Mr C and I had a date night and sat next to a family of four – mother and father, and two children who were around 4-8 years in range. All of them preoccupied with their devices, or squabbling over their parent’s devices, and snapchatting.
And there was watching week at my daughter’s ballet, where in-between filming their daughter’s precious moments and performance on their phones, people were busy dithering on their phones, rather than actually watching their child practice what they had learnt for weeks.
I felt a bit sick.
What world are we sleep walking into, both ourselves, and our kids? What lessons are we teaching them? That our phones are more important than people, or our children?
Why are we so obsessed myself included – with these devices which five years ago were only making their debut on this planet? Why can we simply not put them down for an extended period of time?
Why do we spend hours mindlessly scrolling through utter s**** and not really experiencing life as it goes on around us, or the people experiencing it with us, when we should be looking up at the sky, looking people in the eye, listening to the sounds around us, and being in the moment, and being present?
Why is it the moment I sit down with my little girl to watch her favourite Paw Patrol, I see this as my cue to catch up on inane social media, and essentially, therefore only being present in body but not in mind, meaning I might as well be out of the room I am so unconnected to her?
Why do one in three adults – and half of 18-24 year olds – check their phones in the middle of the night?
Why do we Brits check their phone 85 times a day? EIGHTY FIVE TIMES A DAY????! WTF!!!?
How did our willpower get so bad? I have not set myself a rule that I must not look at my phone for two hours after I get up, and an hour before bed, but why do I find it so hard to keep this? And to not look at my phone at all when I’m with daughter? I toyed with the idea locking my phone away in a drawer for the majority of the day when it wasn’t needed when I was with my family, but then what if there was some sort of emergency and someone needed to reach me?
And so the internal battle continues.
I don’t know what the answer is, but this much I know – I am not the only one caught up in a web of inexplicable allure of their life-numbing phones. I’ve seen all of you out there doing the same, just like me. But I DO know that something feels very wrong about all of this. And all I can ask again is….what are we sleep walking into here?
How do you feel about phones and our constant need to be attached to them? Do you have similar concerns? Please, help me figure this out in a comment below.
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