6:11 a.m.: First alarm goes off.
6:15 a.m.: Second alarm goes off. (The one that means, “Get your behind out of bed if you actually want to accomplish anything today.)
6:15:10 a.m.: Grasps phone out of desperation, looking to see how many texts, Instagram likes and emails I received while asleep.
Does this sound like your typical morning? Because it’s definitely mine. From the moment I get up to the moment I fall asleep, my phone isn’t too far from my side. When I leave my apartment to go to the gym in the morning, my phone is my companion, playing music (on the Magic 98.3 app, of course). And, while I’m in between sets at the gym, I’m catching up on email, the latest news that broke overnight and my friends’ dinner posts on Instagram from the night before.
I barely even think about my phone as an accessory anymore; it comes with me everywhere – more so than my wallet and keys in some respects! I remember being in middle school, high school and college and first no phone, then a classic flip phone (with an antenna!), then a next generation flip phone and finally a BlackBerry and an iPhone. Even though it wasn’t that long that I didn’t have a phone attached as an appendage like it is now, I can barely remember a time!
Is it something I’m proud of? Eh. Not really. It definitely detracts from social interactions, even when you try to not make them. How many times are you at dinner and then get texts about plans later in the night and just HAVE to respond right away? For me, probably far too many than I can count. Even if you leave your phone on silent, it’s impossible not to get the itch to check it once in a while when you’re out and about.
At the end of the day, though, for all of the hassles and social pitfalls some think phones have, I wouldn’t want to live in a world without it. Think about it. How many times have you gotten lost, only to plug an address into your GPS only to get back on track within seconds and ensure you’re safe? How many times have you witness a priceless moment with your kids, grandkids, family or friends that you just had to have a picture of to relive some amazing memories years down the line? I regularly scroll through old photos and videos. You’d be surprised at how many things you forget. But then, you see a picture, and those old memories all come flooding back.
Just being connected in general is something I wouldn’t want to trade. Isn’t it great to see what old friends and family are up to that you can’t see every day? Each morning, I love seeing photos and videos of people and reading updates on what they’re doing with their lives while I’m on the go, grabbing my morning coffee (which I pay for using an app on my phone!) and heading into work.
Sure, those are just a few examples of why having a phone on you is worth it. But I know that when I go to Italy in a few weeks, my phone will be right by my side, capturing a ton of memories. The best part? I won’t have any service aside from wi-fi, so the normal interruptions throughout my day won’t distract me from my experience. No doubt it’ll be perfect for capturing a ton of memories!
Some of this definitely sounds idealistic, and there’s no doubt that people obsessing with screen time has certainly posed some challenges for those growing up before they knew what life was like without a phone or tablet. For me? Though it’s the lesser of two evils, you’ll find me scrolling and texting away. In fact, I’m probably on my phone as you’re reading this. So there! Ha!