“I can live without my smartphone,” said no one ever.
Smartphone has been taking quite a major portion of our attention since forever. It is very common to see people staring to their phone screen everywhere.
As part of the millennials generation (those who were born in the early 1980s to around 2000), I myself have been so used to checking my smartphone in, probably, every two seconds. We are so used to having our phone within our reach that once we realized we lost it or left it somewhere we panic like a big part of our lives had been taken away from us.
I still remember the moment when I left my first smartphone ever, the famous Blackberry Curve 8310, at my office. I was so panicked I immediately went back to my office just a minute after I got home only to take it back.
The things you would do for your smartphone.
We get too attached to our smartphones that sometimes we fell asleep still holding that oh-so-precious thing in our hands. We get so used to this timeline-scrolling and apps-hopping activities we fail to notice how time-consuming they can be.
Sometimes you do it when you are busy chasing the deadlines, meeting a very prospective client, dating your lover, spending time with your best friends, in the car with your parents, and even sometimes when you are driving! You are not aware that sometimes you are THAT WILLING to sacrifice your life, your work and your relationship just to check out those notifications or just to scroll your timeline and read all the newest update that your friends posted!
Again, the things you would do for your smartphone.
Let me show you how distractive my smartphone can be when I’m trying to finish my writing. I started my writing process by brainstorming about an engaging opening line, but before that let me reply to the text messages that I got. A few minutes later, I was finally able to write two sentences, but before I continue let me check how many likes I got from my last Instagram post. Oops, scrolling through the explore page on Instagram seems interesting as I might find more cute girls to follow. And then, as I began to start the second paragraph, I picked my phone up again to see how many people have viewed my latest Snap.
We could do things better and faster if only we weren’t too distracted by all different noises that our phones create. They have a tone for your Whatsapp, and then they also have a different tone for your Facebook Message and text message. And every time you hear any of those tones you feel obligated to grab your phone only to check what is it, who was it.
The struggle is REAL. But, as I look deeper to this particular issue, I realized that the struggle is actually very SIMPLE. So, how do we deal with it?
The only thing you can do to change a habit that you had developed for years is to force yourself to create a new habit.
So what is the new habit that you could develop to overcome this epidemic issue? We’ll get there later. But before that, let me show you why you need to develop a new habit in order to stop this timeline-scrolling slash notification-checking habit (read: addiction):
I have learned that the more I linger around my smartphone, the longer I spend my time scrolling thru my social media timelines, the more unproductive I get. I should have been able to finish this post in an hour, but because I kept on letting myself got distracted it’s been 2,5 hours and I’m only halfway done.
I take a lot of pride in multi-tasking, in living a busy life, in chasing the deadlines. But then I realized that my life could have been more relaxed and less busy if only I could stop working and checking my phone at the same time, all the time. Because, that is not multi-tasking. That is procrastinating.
By consistently scrolling and being “digitally” exist in the social media world, I expose myself to the achievements and highlights of other people. And then it’s just a matter of time until I begin comparing my life with others and start to forget how blessed I actually am.
The moment we fell into comparison is the moment we stop being grateful.
There are 4.2 billion people in the world who still doesn’t have internet. You should consider yourself luckier than those 4.2 billion people if you are able to access this page and read this post. That means, at least, you have a smartphone or a laptop, you have an internet access, and most of you are privileged enough to understand the language – that is not your mother tongue – that I use here.
Take a moment to look around you, the clothes you wear, the parents you have, the friends who care, the house that you live in. Be grateful for that and probably other hundreds of things that you can list down that makes you a lot luckier than most people on this planet.
This is a byproduct, a consequence of comparison. Insecurity is super dangerous as it’s going to rip you off of your potential. It would block your progress in fulfilling your purpose and achieving your dream. DR & I had been feeling insecure towards each other achievement, and we didn’t notice that it’s a dangerous thing until we talked about it.
As partners and good friends the deceitful insecure thoughts have the potential to damage our trust towards each other. Luckily, we chose to be open to one another we managed to rise above our insecurities. But, that doesn’t really prevent us from feeling insecure towards other people who seems more successful, towards other bloggers who seems to have more followers and likes, towards other writers who seems to master more vocabularies.
A friend of mine told me few days ago about how social media had made him feel insecure about his singleness, while he actually know that it is not his season just yet. It triggered him to focus on getting into a relationship for the wrong reason, which is “social media pressure”.
Now, how do you avoid those three from happening to you?
As a simple start, you can simply put your phone screen-down on the table when you are working, or having a meeting, or hanging out with your friends and family. That way you won’t be able to see the notifications on your screen. Put it on silent mode if necessary. Dedicate a day (or, start with an hour per day) to put down your phone, or to log off from your social media and use it to feed yourselves with something enriching. You can simply set your phone to an airplane mode, so you can still use it to read the bible, listen to a podcast, read some digital books and articles that will help you develop your skill, or exercise!
Last but not least, let’s train our brain to say stop to distraction. This would make you grow as a person. So the moment you find your thumb starting to scroll your screen, train your brain to say, “Stop!” And, exit the app. At least, that’s what I’m trying to do these past few days.
Write to you later,