There’s nothing scarier than a phone battery at one percent. Cell phones are such an essential part of our lives that we feel naked without them, always in a chaotic frenzy to find an outlet and restore ourselves to a more comfortable state. This dependency can easily develop into an unhealthy addiction, an addiction that will quickly start interrupting your life.
According to a study by Dr. David Greenfield, the director of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, close to 90 percent of Americans overuse, abuse or misuse their devices. Millennials are no exception to this statistic, and it is important that we pay attention to the time we spend staring at that four-inch, or larger, glowing screen.
I’m a strong believer in the functionality and usefulness of having a smart phone. My smart phone is not only my main device for communicating with family and friends, but also my camera, my GPS, my source for news and weather, my entertainment system, my preferred shopping outlet, my alarm clock, my calendar, my bank and my notepad.
I have thousands of text messages, hundreds of pictures, and 101 unique downloaded apps. When I decided to write this article, I did some initial research in the Safari app and a quick draft of this article in the notes app.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably realized (or already knew) how dependent you are on your phone. Once you’ve come to this difficult realization, what do you do?
The most obvious answer is to cut back on phone use. Cutting back doesn’t have to mean deleting apps or leaving home without your phone, it can be as simple as keeping it in your bag during class, or placing it out of reach when you’re sleeping. Some people suggest not looking at it before eating breakfast, or leaving it in your car when you go out to eat.
Another way to combat the negative effects of phone use is to try and make your phone time more productive. Make use of organizational apps to manage your time. Text old friends or family you don’t normally speak to. Download studying apps to help you prepare yourself for exams. Go read an eBook. Delete unwanted photos and apps. There are a ton of ways to combine phone time and productive time into one, and most of them are easy and free.
Ultimately you have to decide for yourself whether or not your phone is interfering with your life, but an awareness of that possibility is a healthy way to start.