Arnav Vyas writing for futureofus, published 28 April 2021.
In today’s fast-paced, technologically dependent society, it’s seemingly impossible to step out of your house without your phone. However, as many of us are stuck at home and rarely leave the house, the question presents itself -- why are we still so attached to our phones?
Maybe it’s for entertainment, maybe it’s to pass the time. Maybe, you, like millions of others around the world, including me, are addicted to your smartphone and don’t question it when your screentime racks up to more than eight hours a day on your phone.
With finals and AP exams upcoming, I found myself still spending hours a day on my phone when I could be studying for the tests that may come to define my near future. Like many others, I’m a procrastinator. As with many procrastinators, I tend to distract myself from my work no matter what. However, one theme was common across all my problems with punctuality -- I was spending too much time on my phone.
I tried some conventional solutions: screentime restrictions, turning off my phone, do not disturb mode; time and time again, I found myself bypassing these restrictions to yet again spend hours scrolling through Instagram, Snapchat, and even Reddit. Nothing seemed to work.
In May 2020, this cycle was worse than ever. It was time to take drastic measures. I grabbed some tape, powered off my phone, and taped it right to the wall. No longer could I spend hours talking to my friends, scrolling through social media, or watching Netflix or Youtube. I was forced to do all my work without the help of my friends, and I was forced to study for my AP exams.
Not only was taping my phone to the wall effective in helping me focus for about two weeks, it drastically reduced my screentime usage afterwards as well. What was once nine or ten hours a day on my phone was reduced to a relatively meager three or four hours a day.
This presents yet another question -- why don’t we realize that most of us are addicted?
Some people hide behind the reasonable defense that their phone is necessary for their work. Others use it as a mirage to provide an excuse for their addiction. As our society becomes more tech-centric, addiction to our devices is an issue that will only grow. Furthermore, this addiction will be hard to overcome as the heavy usage of these devices is encouraged and even necessary due to our current and future conditions. While technology and the digital world continue to encapsulate our everyday lives, we must adopt new ways to escape life behind a screen and learn to live without the heavy influence of technology in today’s ‘Digital Age’.