Are we addicted to our iPhones?
I've talked about how dependent we've all become on our mobile devices. Take a quick look while riding BART and you'll see a dozen or so people fixated on some sort of device.
Recently I misplaced my iPhone. For the first few days, it felt similar to the time I quit smoking. I could feel the urge to check something, anything-Twitter, news, email, Facebook, weather, etc.-every few minutes.
I then realized how my Internet usage had changed since getting my first Smartphone. Although I cannot say if the overall amount of time I was spending online had changed much, the frequency of how often I was checking something had increased drastically. Although I was consuming data in smaller bytes, I was online constantly.
As time went on, I grew accustom to not having a mobile device. Eventually it was liberating; I came to remember a world I'd forgotten! I felt more relaxed; I grew used to not being connected all the time. I found I could wait until I got home to check into whatever. I pondered things instead of Googling them. I listened to the birds instead of always controlling what I was listening to. I started to read things that were actually printed on paper!
I eventually found my iPhone. I'm glad I did, but I'm thinking maybe I should spend a month each year not carrying any mobile device. While I realize this would be impractical for many of us these days, I would, invite anyone who is able to: try leaving your mobile device at home whenever you can. You'll be surprised at all of the things you notice!
Christophe Robin is a Tower staff writer. E-mail him at email@example.com.
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