A Phone Free Weekend
I wouldn't consider myself addicted to my smart phone, but I definitely use it more than I'd like. One of the main contributors to my usage is my job, which can have a lot of downtime and so I like to find internet rabbit holes to explore or I mindlessly browse reddit. I realize that neither of these are very productive ways to spend my time, nor are they ways I would like to spend my time. I feel like the amount of negativity I pick up from the internet far outweighs the benefits (or distraction) that it offers and that bothers me.
On my days off, I tend not to spend all that much time on my phone. Many days I leave it in the bedroom until I go out or need it and its very rarely ever off of silent. I don't have many notifications enacted so I don't usually find a phone full of alerts but I still habitually check the various apps and websites looking for new updates on my own terms. I still waste just as much time as I would if I had notifications, I'm just less annoyed by being alerted to updates.
While my relationship with my phone isn't a major concern for me, I still see room for improvement. I recently read a comment that discussed how the age of anxiety seems to co-exist with the age of technology and the author stated he thought this was because we now feel so much extra stress in our lives.
...to summarize my ideas on the topic, I believe that through social media, electronics, and a growing need to be accepted, young adults are constantly being exposed to the harsh opinions, realities, and ideas that come when a world is shrunk down to fit inside a cellular phone. Not only is our personal life stressful, but now we take on the stress of others and the world around us.
I had hoped to discuss this with the author more, but he seems to have posted a one-time anonymous post on Medium several years ago.
After reading that comment, I felt like his assessment was true. It was a great explanation for why there seems to be so much additional stress in the world and I think some of it comes across casually. It's kinda like watching commercials. We may zone out and miss the majority of them, but some of that stuff resonates or finds it way into the cracks of your consciousness. I feel like seeing all the negativity online does the same, it just finds its way into your brain.
My mental health has taken a major dip the past week or so, and I've fallen back on old coping mechanisms to help me combat it. I have to be a bit more conscious of the entertainment I consume and what information passes through my head, and so I'm making a decision this weekend to turn off my phone. Well... I'm going to turn it to airplane mode that way if I want to read I can still read, but otherwise it's going to be off.
I need to redefine my relationship with the internet and hopefully I can take some of that free time I'll have this weekend to figure out exactly how I'd like to proceed.