The Santa Clara
September 20, 2018
Summer boredom—it happens to the best of us. When I found myself sitting alone on the brown leather couch in my living room, unsure of what to do, I noticed a trend unique to my generation: I was constantly reaching for my cell phone. It didn’t require much thought or intent. It was pure muscle memory.
The allure and convenience of a cell phone have made it so that many people automatically reach for their phones in moments of boredom.
Cells phones have morphed into a sort of default. As opposed to thinking of something creative many children and teens are instead staying indoors, glued to their phones for hours on end. This becomes especially worrisome in the summertime when there’s a lack of packed schedules.
Relying on your phone as a default can in turn lead to phone addiction. It is no secret that many individuals, especially those who are younger, already suffer from this crippling tendency that makes your eyes hurt, fingers numb and could possibly even give you cancer. I am no different.
In early 2017, I started to track the amount of time I spent on my phone using an app called Moment. By using this app, I realized that I typically spend about three hours on my phone every day. If you think that’s bad, you’re in for a shock.
In monitoring my phone activity, what surprised me most was just how much my phone usage increased throughout the summer.
One day in July, I used my phone for a total of eight hours and eight minutes. Let me put that into perspective for you: the equivalent of a full day’s work. Yeah, that’s right—a nine-to-five job.
Now, in order to maintain my integrity, I think it’s only fair that I list some excuses. I use my phone for nearly everything.
My phone serves as a mini television, a music player, a map, a newspaper and a camera. I even drafted this article on my phone. At this point, I’m just surprised that my phone hasn’t spontaneously combusted yet from over-usage.
Regardless, I do find it horrifying that I spent such an excessive amount of time plugged into my phone, but for me the most frustrating part about owning a phone is that it is not something you can just get rid of.
Human beings need phones in order to be functioning members of society. Quitting cold turkey is not an option.
While it is true that you can delete frequently used apps, it is always very tempting not to redownload them. After all, it only takes the push of a button.
Even though it seemed like the odds were not in my favor, I decided it was time to make a change. The next time I found myself sitting on the brown leather couch I took the time to reflect and I came to a frightening realization: I was living my life vicariously through others online.
While my life may not be as exciting as some of the stories and videos I see online, it would certainly be more exciting if I just got off my cell phone. I don’t want to have spent a fourth of my life staring at a cell phone.
In moments of weakness, remembering this internal dialogue has helped me resist the urge to use my phone and it has allowed me to live what I consider to be a more happy, healthy and full life.
Contact Celia Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852