I read this awesome submission to Tiny Buddha earlier today and I think the answer is absolutely yes. Not just for myself but for a lot of the people in my life also. I can’t tell you how many meals I’ve sat through where the other person is on their phone almost the whole time. Or walking the aisles in Target trying to talk to a friend I’m shopping with and they don’t even respond because they’re texting or checking their Facebook.
I remember when I realized how bad our addiction to smartphones had gotten. It was when I got my Disneyland season pass two years ago. I was waiting in line for Toy Story Mania with my friends and I looked around and at least one person in every group had their phone out. It was eerily quiet too because no one was actually talking to each other, they were all checking things on their phone. It made me really sad actually. That was always part of the fun for me in going to Disneyland. Waiting in line and getting into interesting conversations with whoever I had gone with. I’m the first to admit that I get way too reliant on my cell phone. These past two weeks it’s been from waiting for people to text me. I’ve started to get antsy or bored when I’m not texting someone or receiving a text. Before that, it’s been a reliance on social media. When that starts happening, that’s when I know it’s time for a break.
Don’t get me wrong…smartphones are amazing technological innovations. I don’t know where I would be without Google Maps or Yelp sometimes. But like many good things, there’s a downside if it starts getting abused. There’s so much going on around us in life that’s worth witnessing. Go outside and watch a sunset instead of watching your phone screen. And when you’re actually spending time with someone, why would you not want to focus your full attention on them? Don’t you want to make sure they know that they mean something to you? Facebook statuses, Instagram likes and texts from other people can wait if it’s not an emergency. I don’t want to have to talk over a phone or not be listened to because someone cares more about their smartphone validation than what I have to say and I certainly don’t want to make anyone else feel that way.
I’m going to do my part is stepping away from the smartphone for a while and not even taking it out when I’m with other people. Life’s too short to spend it doting on a piece of technology instead of the people we love and care about. When we look back on our lives, we’re not going to remember the number of likes we got on that photo one summer. We’re going to remember all the amazing memories we made with amazing people.