iPhone addiction, or any smartphone for that matter is becoming an increasing challenge in today’s world. Corine Channell shares helpful insights from her own experience, in her usual amusing way.
Wishfully thinking of the old days I call “Life before I was connected to a charger”. Maybe you’re a teenager and you have NO recollection of life before electronics, and apps, and a constant barrage of cords and chargers. Many of us DO remember. Some of us miss it.
What in the world did I do before I had a cell phone that serves as a tiny lap top computer? I seriously was trying to remember.
There is a place on your phone where you can see your screen time each day. I did not know that until I found it by accident, and I had a rude awakening – I felt kicked in the gut. Are you kidding me? I spend THAT much time on my PHONE? I was ashamed and embarrassed and felt like I had a secret addiction I couldn’t talk about. I mean really, who spends THAT much time on their phone in a day.
In trying to justify my screen time to my guilt-ridden self, I broke down all the things I do on my phone. It is way more than just texting or talking. There are my apps – for Uber, bus routes, plane tickets, recipes, banking, Starbucks (of course there is a coffee app on my phone), Amazon, Pinterest, Instagram, Messenger, Facebook, email, PayPal, Pandora, weather, news, WordPress, Western Union, and YouTube. And I DON’T have the zillion others that are all at my fingertips if I merely download (or is it upload?) them.
Good Grief! I had this moment – you know – the BAM moment, when I realized most of my life was connected to the end of a cord. My phone connects me to everything and everyone, and I am NOT entirely sure I am handling it well.
After all, shouldn’t we should do ALL things in moderation. That means, if you are going to eat Oreos just eat two (not a whole sleeve). It means whatever you do, don’t over-consume. I feel like an over-consumer of my little tiny Apple looking up at me ALL day long, saying FEED ME! LOVE ME! PAY ATTENTION TO ME! In some ways, it has become so much a part of our daily lives in very practical ways (catch a bus, catch a plane, check your bank balance) that we ARE benefited and we depend on it.
Knowledge has increased, IS increasing still, and at a rapid pace. With all our knowledge, are we really better off? I wonder if we are more anxious at trying to keep up? I am. Just sayin’. I can only speak for myself. What to do people? How do ALL of us break free of being owned by our phones? Is it even possible in this world where we are connected to a charger? Yes and no, maybe so? Ugh. I don’t see a perfectly perfect answer to this.
It’s Your Choice
So, for ME – this is my advice to myself. YOU have to do what works for you, but just know you always have a choice and really, we do NOT want to be owned or controlled by anything – and especially an electronic device (This sounds so Matrix).
With fear and trembling I will pay more attention to how much time I spend on my phone – and note if it was smart time (smart time – smart phone. I can remember THAT)! Sure, I need my phone to write blogs (I love the dictionary access at my fingertips); I need it to make travel plans, to find a recipe, to scope out birthday gifts, etc.
What I do NOT need is to surf Facebook or be on messenger all day long. I don’t need to know who is doing what at all times! I don’t need to read all the news comments about politics (no, no and NO), and feel my blood boil at the hatred spewed.
I don’t need to scroll through YouTube videos about cute babies and dogs; I don’t need to see the millions of brilliant creative ideas on Pinterest (I think my best friend and I WERE Pinterest before there was Pinterest). “If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.” (Proverbs 25:16) Wow. I think THAT may be the key really. “Eat only enough for you.”
My brain and my eyeballs are over it. My heart needs a break from social media and seeing and knowing what everyone everywhere is thinking, or saying, or doing 24-hours-a-day. It is addictive – iPhone addiction.
“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self control.” (Proverbs 25:28) Guilty.
You do it however you want. Me? I am at least going to try to not be so connected to a charger. I want be better connected to the people in my life, spending time talking to God, reading His Word (To know God does not require cords or chargers or good WiFi), and being more personally creative with my gifts and talents that do NOT require charging.
I still prefer to read my mother’s old Bible (complete with her notes in the margins and scribbled all around every single page) as opposed to looking up scriptures on my PHONE (which I have done and sometimes still will). I still like to go to a store and scope out the sale racks as opposed to clicking on gift items on shopping sites. I still like to write cards and letters as opposed to emails and e-cards.
I just think, though all of that is just FINE, it loses the personal touch. I had an elderly aunt who sent me a card for every occasion every year of my life up till she died – her handwriting was shaky and sometimes hard to read but I knew who it was and I knew HER because of it. I miss those cards.
“Make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence knowledge, to knowledge self-control; to self control perseverance; to perseverance godliness.” (2 Peter 1:5-6) I find it interesting that in this scripture it places adding self-control after having added knowledge. With lots of increased knowledge at our beck and call 24/7, we need self-control to overcome iPhone addiction. THAT is where I find myself today.
Whatever you do or don’t do with your iPhone addiction (don’t throw your phone up against a wall or feel guilty if your job IS your phone), just find a balance that eliminates being overly consumed, or out of control, or unnecessarily anxious. At the end of the day remember that the delicate and lovely lilies of the field grow and toil not, neither do they spin to be beautiful. Sometimes all that is really necessary is to just BE.