My name is Amy Brown and I am addicted to my Smart Phone. It's been two minutes since I used it last. Yes, I am an addict, but I am in good company. Lately, I have been working on my addiction.
I heard a story on NPR about the link between Smart Phones and boredom. We are the people who hate to be bored. Instead of daydreaming, we reach for our phones. I listened to the story and thought about my usage. If I accidentally left my phone at home, I would drive home to get it. I have notes on my back door reminding me to bring it with me. Without it, I feel naked. Then recently, something happened.
I got a text from my phone carrier that I was reaching the 75% point of my data plan with two more weeks to go. Within minutes, I turned off my phone data and set up my home and work WiFi on my phone. Between home and work, I am phone data naked. Translation, I can't post on Facebook, I can't write entries on my blog, I can't surf the Internet nor can I make my apps do any of their fancy things. Suddenly I found myself using the phone less to ensure that I don't go over my data plan.
One week in and I think I am OK. Those times when I would check my phone, I now do other things like think, breathe, close my eyes, sit, etc. One little change in the name of finances has changed how I use my phone. So now, I can't post immediately on Facebook the cute expression of my son. I drove out of town this weekend. Instead of using my GPS, I mapped it and took a screen shot of the directions for reference. We arrived there without someone talking me through every turn.
My phone is still with me at all times. That is not changing. In fact, my two-year-old son now wants to carry his fake smart phone in his pocket in case, "he gets a call from one of his friends". Yeah. Message received.
It's a tool. It's not a third arm. It's not a friend. It's how people can reach me. Sometimes though I have to remember to look away and experience just being me for a while too.