Last week, I thought I lost my phone at the movie theater after a 10 p.m. showing and wouldn’t be able to get it until the next day after class.
As you can imagine, I was very stressed out. I had the ringer turned off because I was at the movies and couldn’t have anyone call it to make sure it wasn’t somewhere I hadn’t checked in my apartment.
Luckily, I remembered the next morning that Find my iPhone was a thing and tracked my phone to beneath my couch cushions.
In the brief time period without my phone, I realized how dependent I am on it.
Without my phone, I had to set an alarm on my laptop to wake up. This alarm didn’t go off, and I overslept.
I couldn’t check the weather for the day on my phone, so I had to grab random clothes and hope it would be comfortable.
I was anxious at the thought of walking to class without listening to music, because that helps motivate me.
I’ve been trying to cut my phone and social media usage for my mental well-being, and that’s when I realized I wasn’t doing as well as I thought.
I started using Screen Time to cut back, as well as utilizing the app Forest.
I felt like I was becoming much more productive, in addition to not being as overwhelmed by social media stress.
With the minor inconvenience of “losing” my phone in my couch for less than half a day, I realized I’m not, and I want to do better.
Technology makes our lives easier.
We can stay in contact with friends and family from far away.
I remember when Skype first became widespread, and my family could video chat with my relatives who work for the
government and move to different countries every few years.
We were amazed and happy that we could communicate with them better.
The internet can provide a place for people to connect with others they normally wouldn’t meet.
As a type one diabetic, I know only a few other people in real life who have the same illness as me, but in online support groups, it’s much easier to connect with people who understand. Many other people with chronic illness or disabilities have had similar experiences.
Closeted LGBT teens may also feel safer talking to online friends before coming out to anyone, because it’s still not always safe to do so in real life.
The internet can even be a good place for people to explore and express religious beliefs which others around them may not accept.
Just the day after I “lost” my phone, my new continuous glucose monitor came in the mail.
I can now check my blood sugar on my phone, as well as view graphs of how it spikes and drops throughout the day, and trends for what times of day it’s higher and lower.
This is an amazingly helpful tool for me, and being able to have it on my cell phone instead of carrying an extra device is even better.
I think it’s safe to say we should all find a happy medium in terms of technology.
Use it to your advantage, but don’t let it become a hindrance. If you can, limit phone usage or try setting aside some designated “no technology” time.
There are some amazing perks of having infinite information at your fingertips, but it can become overwhelming and all-consuming.
Overall, I do think that phones, as well as the internet, computers, etc. have made our lives easier and are mostly a positive thing, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be more mindful in our usage of them.