I never used to notice, but now I actually find it sad that most of the time when you look around at people, they’re always looking down. Everyone is looking at their phones and no one is ever looking up at their surroundings.
Have you ever noticed that if you look at someone who’s waiting, they’re always on their phones as well? Sometimes I’ve just been waiting for someone who’s in the toilet or something so I’ll be standing around and people give me weird looks! It’s almost as if people think I’m suss because I’m a 20-something year old, just standing around, not on my phone.
See what happened was, every time there was a power outage or if I forgot to bring my phone somewhere, I realised just how dependent I was on technology. It’s like my damn iPhone was glued to my hand and that really frustrated me. I was talking less, barely ever looking up and my eyes started to hurt from looking at the small phone screen with the unnatural light for so long. I felt 100% like a millennial stereotype. I didn’t want to be like that so I make some changes, I found out how to break my dependency on technology:
This is one of the best things I did. If you have a Mac computer, getting that stupid pop-up notification every time you have an incoming email is so distracting. It’s like you can’t just ignore it if an important email pops up. So you read it, even if it ends up ruining or throwing off your day. Not to mention whatever you were doing at the time you got the email ends up being completely abandoned. Turning off these notifications means it’s your choice when you choose to enter the email realm. Then when you switch off, you’re really switching off and giving your mind a proper break. There’s no email that can’t wait until tomorrow. I found turning these off made me check my emails way less often, which massively minimised my screen time.
I started doing this as an experiment last year because I was having issues with my phone, but then I ended up literally not taking my phone with me when I left the house. I did this for months and it was…easier than you’d think. It was brilliant to just go about your day uninterrupted, rather than having all of these different bits of information coming to you at once. So if you’re seeing a movie with a friend, you’re just seeing a movie with a friend. You’re not also communicating with another friend and talking about something else or scheduling your waxing appointment. If you’re trying to meet someone at a certain time, without your phone you just stick to your word and meet them at that time. No luxury of saying “I’ll be there in 15,” you just end up having to say what you mean and then follow through. If you’re having a really fun time doing something, you just enjoy it. No Instagramming it or taking photos to post later, you enjoy the moment for what it’s worth and call it a day.
Okay let’s be real, not bringing my phone around with me for those few months was therapeutic as hell, but also at times real damn inconvenient. I had to find a happy in between, and that’s where airplane mode comes in. So still bring your phone around with you throughout the day, but for periods of the day, turn it on airplane mode. Maybe if you’re meeting a friend for example, pop your phone on airplane mode for the time you’re with them. Then you can just enjoy that time, freeing your mind from any distractions. Just live in the moment more. I think that’s one thing ironically that technology has taken away from us, the pure ability to just live in the moment.
I know this sounds weird, but I figure we all love our technology for different reasons. If we can find out what that reason is, maybe we can break our dependency as well. I mean, some people love being on their phone because they’re addicted to Facebook, Instagram and other social media apps- right? So if you love the social aspect of technology, maybe spend more time out with your friends or doing social things, and then you won’t want to be on your phone as much. So if you’re trying to break your dependency from technology, find what it is that you’re getting from technology and try to fill that gap without it.
What do you think? Are you dependent on technology?