I laughed because, living in a big city, I’m constantly surrounded by people. Spending so much time around way too many people, how could I still be longing for, craving, wanting for human connection? A small talk about the weather, a chat about grocery prices at the store, a quick vent session about life at the train station? It used to be.
The answer came to me just as quickly: Everyone is here, online; talking about the weather, complaining about grocery prices, and venting about life on the world wide web.
I’m just not here. And it sucks.
Everyone is talking, but the silence is deafening.
Too long, won’t read version: Add an offline activity to the start of your day for better days.
The long version: I paid attention and realized something yesterday. #storytime
I left my Airpods at home yesterday after my phone kindly warned me I’ve exceeded the recommended level for audio exposure. Got me wondering, how else is one supposed to listen to So Mi Like It? I digress…
Anyway, I wanted to give my ear a break, and didn’t want any temptation, so I brought a book instead for my commute. Usually, I’d read an e-book on my phone, while listening to music, switching between this app then that app, skipping this song then that song, you know the usual. On this particular commute, however, it was just my book and I, and my phone stayed in my purse.
If you’re also anything like the average smartphone user, a good chunk of the time you spend on your phone is spent on social networking sites; 2.4 hours to be exact.
Even Apple knows that is a little bit too much time for its users to spend on their devices. So much so that, Apple released the Screen Time app back in 2018 as part of its “digital health” initiative to address growing concerns around increasing device usage, smartphone addiction and social media’s impact on our mental well-being.
One feature of the Screen Time app is to track the hours a user spends on their phone on a daily and weekly basis and generate a report.
It is an attempt to escape the unappealing realities of life; pain, boredom, loss, emotional turmoil, suffering.
The widely accepted definition describes addiction as excessive use of drugs or alcohol to escape, relax, or as a reward to enjoy life, with the belief that you can’t cope without them. Addiction has two basic qualities: you do more of the thing than you would like to, and you continue to do it despite its negative consequences.
In addition, at least three of the following criteria must be met to be diagnosed for addiction: tolerance, withdrawal,limited control, negative consequences, neglecting or postponing activities, significant time or energy spent, and the desire to cut down.