Dawn O Watson/CNBNewsnet
I suffer from many letters in the alphabet: OCD, SAD, SAP, and CPA.
Recently, I misplaced my cellphone. I was late for an appointment and didn’t have time to tear up my house to find it, so I took a deep breath, got in my car, and started driving. About half-way there, I made a wrong turn and pulled over to use my GPS. But, the device was on my phone, which was somewhere in the house, so I had to wing it to get where I was going.
When I had finished my business, I was asked if I wanted to make another appointment. Of course, my calendar was an app on my phone, so I felt obligated to accept a little card with the date written on it, which I would promptly lose in the dark and scary place that defined the inside of my purse.
My cell-free day was only beginning; I had to guess at the items I needed at the grocery store, I couldn’t text my daughter to find out if she needed anything, and I couldn’t share my dogs’ pictures when I saw a friend of mine at the check-out counter. I had no access to my digital coupons, couldn’t check my PayPal balance, and worst of all, I couldn’t check Facebook to see who was trash-talking me.
Yes, I am a Cell Phone Addict. I rely far too much on that little piece of metal and plastic to help get me through my life. I’m thinking about joining a support group, if there is one, to help wean me off of my reliance upon it. But, unless I use my GPS I’ll never find the meeting place and without my calendar, I’ll never remember the date of the first gathering.
As I pull up in front of my house, I hear a familiar sound and open each compartment of my purse until I locate the source. To my delight, it is my wayward phone, hidden away in a barely-used pocket!
Thirty-four emails, seven text messages, and forty Facebook notifications later, I have a headache and my groceries are melting in the car.
I suppose phone reliance is like everything else in life; too much is unhealthy, no matter if it’s television, alcohol, food, or some other excessive habit.
Perhaps it’s time to consider the benefits of moderation. If we all stayed off our phones and interacted with our fellow citizens to a greater degree, maybe there would be more time to enjoy ourselves, more reasons to go outdoors and be active, and more time to explore creative hobbies.
Moving forward, I hope my friends will understand when I don’t answer a text immediately or if their calls sometimes go to voicemail. My plan is to spend less time with virtual friends on Facebook and more time with live friends, face-to-face. If I find it impossible to rely less on my phone I’ll hide it—with my forgetfulness it will be hours before I remember where it is.
I’m thinking that life is not about living with a phone in front of your face—it’s about facing life without phoning it in with only virtual responses.
It’s time to put the phone down.