• I am more attached to my phone now than I was in my teenage years
When I was younger than I am now, I used to daydream a lot.
Of course, I still daydream even today, but the dreams are not as good as they used to be back then.
I used to have such vivid and bizarre daydreams that I would literally have to snap myself out of them.
Sometimes I would shout or pinch myself just remind myself that I am still in the present and not in some dream that I conjured up in the middle of night preps back in high school.
Anyway, one very vivid daydream I had once was that I was stuck on an island after a shipwreck or plane wreck of some sort.
If you have ever watched the TV series 'Lost', I think you know what I’m talking about.
I was watching a lot of that series back in the day.
So, in my daydream, I was all alone, stuck on some island, and I had little to no resources to help me survive.
However, the biggest concern to me at that time seemed to be that I was cut off from the rest of the world.
I had no phone, no radio. I was basically off the grid and completely stuck.
As a teenager, being unable to have my phone with me was a sign that I was as good as dead.
I mean, how would I survive a day without my phone?
I used to think (my parents included) that I was absolutely addicted to my phone, especially as a teenager, when I had just gotten my first phone.
Truth is, I was never as addicted to a device as I am addicted to my phone now.
The Lord only knows how long I actually spend on the phone.
I tried to regulate it once but failed miserably.
What I did was I put a timer on some of the apps I spend the most time on, like WhatsApp, Instagram and my Achilles heel, Pinterest.
What was supposed to happen was that once the timer goes off after the maximum time I set to spend on a certain app, I would close that app and, if my will permits it, put the phone down and try to focus on other things offline.
But because God gave us free will to decide and do whatever we thought was right, I would just move on to another app until that app timer went off as well.
Over time, I just started to reset the time on an app I was using and sometimes spend two hours just browsing.
My screen time is actually very concerning.
As luck would have it, I had the privilege (or misfortune, I’m not yet sure what to call it) of being entirely offline for a couple of weeks at a time recently.
No WhatsApp, no Instagram and no Pinterest.
You know how addicts get withdrawal symptoms when they stop using?
I had a period like that one. I could not help myself.
I just had be online no matter what.
That’s when I realised that it wasn’t my phone I was addicted to but it was being in the know. Information was my drug.
And I work in media, in the age of information, so how can I control the addiction?
Long story short, I got someone to confiscate my phone and spent the best information-free weeks of my life.
I will definitely be doing that again very soon.