Friday, May 30, 2014

Phone Addict

I'm one of those people that has to have my phone near me at all times. Part of this is because I live so far away from my family that I refuse to miss a single phone call, text, e-mail, etc. from one of them. The other is because I've only just joined the modern world, as far as phone technology goes, in the last year, and I'm amazed at what my smart phone can do. I'm even more amazed with my service provider!

No, this isn't some spam to praise a phone company. This isn't a post about being a phone snob. This is a real confession about phone addiction, and how I know I'm not the only one.

I swore up and down that I wasn't attached to my phone. Not at all! "I barely post pictures on Facebook, or update my status." "I log in to Twitter maybe once or twice a week." "I only stare at my phone when I read my Kindle books on the app!" "I turn on Spotify to listen to music while I clean the house, do yard work, go for a walk, etc."

Of course, I'm grateful to have my phone when adorable situations arise...

It was only after Isabel was born that I realized just how much I depended on my phone. Granted, through a company called Lightyear Wireless, I have unlimited talk, text & data for $60/month, so I'm never worried about my app usage, or going over minutes gabbing with my mom. I could have music streaming while reading a book and nursing the baby at the same time. AT THE SAME TIME! Yeah! Multitasking!!

But what was I missing during that nursing session? I missed her eyes gazing at my concentrated face. I missed that warm, fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach that I get when I watch her fall asleep mid-suck, and unlatch herself. It only happened a couple times, so what's the big deal about being on my phone? (Yup. Denial.)

When the weather became tolerable, because Wisconsin still had a foot of snow on the ground in late April, I started taking Isabel out for walks through the neighborhood. I'd turn on Spotify, plug in my headphones, and get lost in my music.
But what did I miss during those walks? I missed my baby girl listening to the birds for the first time. I missed her reaction to the way the sun fell on her face. I didn't soothe her when the cars drove by and startled her because I could barely hear them over Matchbox 20.

Then, there's the Social Media Life. You know, the pictures you upload to your social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc), because you know people will see it. You want them to be jealous and proud of your life as they scroll past it. I do this. I do this because I watch my college friends graduate and find true love, and my stomach knots for them in their happiness. I read status updates from family about how wonderful their crazy life is, and my heart grows weary to be near them. I want them all to see that I'm happy and perky and everything is awesome, up here on my own, in a strange land that's more like a popsicle! Because I can edit out the annoyances and frustrations on my phone, but not in real life. I want my life to look perfect to everyone. Life doesn't work like that. And it sucks.

I was still in denial until even last week, when my old phone (I'd bought it used- discount with Lightyear! Yeah! ) decided to give up the ghost. It started to constantly reset itself for no reason, and the home row buttons finally crapped out. Sure I can still make and receive calls, but then my phone is stuck on the phonebook until I restart it, or it turns off by itself.

Am I complaining about a broken phone? No. I'm complaining that the guilt hit me like a tidal wave once I put my phone down and actually paid attention. I feel like I need to purge myself of these silly sins, and declare that I am on my phone TOO much.

Maybe it's time to DOWNGRADE back to a simple phone, instead of UPGRADE like we've been trained to do.