My alarm clock is running. It must be 8AM already. I grab my phone with two fingers, using a third one to turn it off with an elegant swipe gesture. My left eye is closed, my right is half open. My mind starts figuring out what appears on the screen. Notifications.
Right on, let’s start the work. What should we check first – the whatsapp messages? there are eight from The Friends group, they probably went for a drink whilst i fell asleep. Three more msgs from the girl I’m dating, well that could wait a bit. Facebook messages? could be from someone from the office, or from some old friend. Four new likes in Instagram for a picture I uploaded last night? Well that’s REALLY not important, but my ego wants it checked. And two more emails – wait a sec, it could be an urgent matter from the office, but oh, maybe it’s just spam… Next to all those icons, I see my To Do List icon, reminding me of today’s tasks.
Until we figure out the best way to get to pure organic connectivity, I decided to test few things on myself.
In each test, I will try a small step that might help me regain the relaxed yet connected life I wish for myself and others.
One of the annoying things about the smartphone addiction is how it affects my mornings rituals. I’m an early waker. Always was, probably always will be. I wake up around 7AM whether or not I partied last night. Sometimes I wish I could sleep longer, but what can you do, no one is perfect…
I have a cellphone for the last 15 years or so. And one of the things I’ve learnt – because of my early wake – is that I have to take care of my sleeping hours. Meaning that before I get myself under the blanket, I am closing my windows, the door, and also put my phone on Silent Mode. The silent mode helps me not to wake up from stupid phone alerts in the middle of the night.
But since I got my smartphone, this is how my morning ritual looks like:
I admit it – I’m a smartphone addict. First thing in the morning, last before I fall asleep – I’m checking my phone. Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Tech News and other apps – they got me hooked.
I look around me, and I see other people like me. And not only my age – my mom is addicted as well, my young nephews LOVE their dad’s phone and iPad and will use every chance to play with it.
It’s not news we are addicted to our phones. You can see it in every cafe, in the streets, in the office, and, well – good thing toilet walls are blocking me from see you there with your iPhone in your hands.
China is doing it wrong. Policies for not using the web will not get people less addicted, but will lead them to find new ways to reach the Internet.
”You can forbid the internet, but young people will still find a way online,” he says, noting that this generation grew up with the computer. The only way to remove the attraction, Pi says, would be if peer pressure started to make it unfashionable to spend a whole day in front of the computer.”
Do you think it’s possible to make it unfashionable? Or even needed? I think not. The solution shouldn’t come from “use less”, it should come from “use in a smart way”
Jon Rettinger from TechnoBuffalo rants about our constant need to check smartphones in public places.
Before Apple and Google took over the phone world, people were less attached to their devices and could go out to dinner or a movie without being distracted by their phones. Now, anywhere you go you are almost guaranteed to see someone using their phone to check Facebook, read emails, or send texts instead of socializing and interacting with the people around them.
Jon has fallen victim to this behavior but has found a fun and creative way to stop it…
Instead of becoming slaves to our smartphones, let’s take back control of our lives. Let’s raise the awareness for having less push notifications, less addictive apps, less interruptions when we meet other people.
We don’t have to stop using technology – quite the opposite. Technology is a great thing, it can help us be smarter, more productive, up to date, in the know, more social…
But we should use it smarter than we currently do, we should ask the App developers to stop making us addicted.