We need to talk. About your obsession with me. At first, I was flattered. I felt so popular as you eagerly picked me out at the store. How you searched for just the right cover to put on me that would both articulate your personality and protect me from the copious amount of times you would drop me. I enjoyed helping you organize your life with the myriad of apps you downloaded. I loved connecting you with your friends and family.
But, there’s a fine line between using me and abusing me. And honey, you’ve crossed it. I mean, just look at the statistics of how much time is sucked from the average American’s day looking at my screen (2 hours and 36 minutes daily, on average…) It’s appalling, and yet, from the moment you wake up to the moment your drop me on your face because you fall asleep looking on Facebook, you are texting, playing, checking, reading, and tweeting.
I was not meant to be your security blanket. It never fails– you are in a social situation in which you feel out of your element. You pull me out. Having someone to text makes you feel more valid as a human, I guess. When things get a little too real or uncomfortable, you casually reach for me and start pretending to check that “really important” email. That panicky feeling you get when you realize you’ve left me at home— yeah. I’ve got your number…. (pun intended)
I was not meant as a way to keep people at arms length away. When you give half of your attention to the person across the table at the coffee shop; when you insist on letting the phone call interrupt a meaningful conversation; when you use me to communicate a less-than-interested attitude to that slightly annoying person at happy hour, you are choosing to stay in shallow waters. More than that- it’s downright rude.
I was not meant to be your sole source of entertainment and information. Incessantly checking Facebook, Buzzfeed after mindless Buzzfeed, and the manic obsession with flinging Star Wars themed birds into various boxes… I have to ask– what effect is that having on your mind and soul? Why are you trading sun and fresh air for the glow of a blue screen?
Nor was I meant to be the cause of discontentment and pride. Flicking endlessly down your Facebook feed, you inevitably come to the conclusion that everyone else is living a happier, more glamorous, and attractive life than you. And on the other end of things, what exactly is your motivation behind what you’re posting? How often are you wanting to put up an image or update to portray an image that you think others will find appealing? Why is that?
Don’t worry– I’m not “breaking up with you” so to speak. But I am needing some boundaries. If you can stop trying to use me to be a source of comfort or identity, I think our relationship would be a lot healthier. And you’ll be a lot happier. Maybe sometimes you can leave me in your back pocket. Answer the text later. It will be ok. Rather than obsessing over documenting the moment on Instagram (just so that others can see how amazing your life is) just be fully present in the moment. Keep the mystery of an unanswered query, rather than needing to know the answer right now and asking Siri. Get lost. Go stargazing. Read that book you’ve been meaning to. Take a deep breath and go talk to that person across the room who also doesn’t have anyone to talk. It will be ok! I’ll still be here.
Your Smart Phone