I wrote back in January about iPhone addiction, in both the evening news and on the blog. I had a crazy response from people who are struggling. Phone addiction is real because our phones are full of incredibly useful and entertaining apps. If you have the ability to work from your phone and you enjoy your job – multiply that addiction by 100. On top of this, my personal trainer has suggested I start using My Fitness Pal again. It’s an amazing app and in terms of getting into that slinky little red velvet dress over the festive period (move over Santa) it’s an app that works. An app that keeps us on track when, for a foodie like me, it is all too easy to lose it. But it means more scrolling on the phone.
The scrolling culture of robots.
Do you ever find yourself just aimlessly staring at your phone? Scrolling, then some more and some more. Scroll, scroll, scroll. You start to feel guilty and a bit dirty. You know that deep down it’s time to give up. There are other people around. People that would enjoy your conversation. You feel guilty but you physically can’t bring yourself to stop. I mean, look at my inbox – 15,404 unread. Ask my closest mates, it gives them heart palpitations.
There are so many lists to get through. People to contact. Did you post happy birthday to those on Facebook you got an update about? Did you like enough photos on Instagram? What if you offend people? You need to make an effort. I’ve written about that too. I’ve written about not taking it personally when people don’t “Like” your Facebook posts. Just because they don’t hit “Like”, like a robot, does not mean that they don’t like your posts. Do you know that is one of my most read articles of the year? Because people are constantly searching on google “why do people not like my posts on facebook?” Let’s not get started on Facebook though -these days most people won’t see your posts unless you pay!
The scrolling culture of robots. Perhaps you are on the bus and you get a smile from the person next to you. You look up quickly but the phone is just far too alluring. Or maybe you are walking around and it’s a really gorgeous day. The sun is shining, people are brushing past you but you can’t bring yourself to look up. The scroll culture is calling.
Later on you are out for a meal. The food is fantastic, best snap an image and tag the venue. On that note, that would be a really good upload for a folder in Pinterest. I can think of a really funny tweet to go with it. Oh and I may as well load the nutritional value from the meal on My Fitness Pal whilst I am here. Oh no, I can’t help but notice that WhatsApp is flashing, I better check it. I better reply to the group chat. I am a bad friend.
Either way I am going to offend someone. Those waiting, those scrolling. Those right in front of my face.
Oh no, the Gmail inbox is flashing. I have SO MUCH work to do, SO MANY emails to get back to or clear out (cough 15, 404).
Then the dreaded day comes. A few people I love start commenting:
“Put that phone away, I am fed up of it”.
“I thought your valued our friendship”.
“Mummy, get off your phone”.
You realise your phone is so useful. You would be lost without it BUT it is keeping you from being present. It is starting to have an impact on your relationships. You know the people you love mean so much more to you than a bit of metal and plastic. But you find it SO hard to put it down. It is starting to control you.
What if those special people in your life think you love it more? What if they think you no longer care?
We all need a wakeup call. I am naturally quite a defensive person. How dare people boss me around. Do they have any idea how busy I am? Don’t they care? Why can’t they just be proud of me? I don’t moan at friends or family and make them feel bad if they are on their phone. What gives people the right to moan at me?
But what if they have a point? I mean, I love them. I should perhaps listen. I should just put the phone away for a while. I should be present. I should just stop. Stop it all. It’s good to stop sometimes.
Deep down we all know the secrets to happy and healthy relationships but the world conspires to make us forget. I’m fighting against it. Not easily may I add.
Do you want to join me on my quest to find the balance? I’m trying to make the ride fun. Chapter 9 in my book will provide a toolkit in terms of how you can manage your relationship with your phone. The toolkit is tried and tested. Do I still get it wrong? Yes. But am I on top of it, am I trying to make things better? Yes. That is the main thing.