Two years ago I began to notice that I could not disconnect from the world and from work while at home because I could not release the cell phone. I am a communicator and I work as a spiritual coach, so it was easy for me to think that it was because my job implies being at the service of others, and that made me have the excuse “I can't leave my cell phone because they need me”. Yes, I know that the subject of thinking that they “need me” sounds a bit self-centered, but I want to talk to you with my heart, and to do that I need to tell you the truth of the Milanese.
The theme is that simple:
I discovered that I'm addicted to cell phones because when I have it with me I can't stop devoting my full attention to it, I can't stop looking at it. At times the addiction comes from the side of wanting to have the laburo up to date answering all mails, whatsapps and 1000 Instagram messages as soon as possible. But then I realize that, even though I don't have work pending, I keep looking at my phone and disconnecting from myself and my surroundings.
I become an entity that is neither here nor there, and that thinks of something that is happening through a screen instead of connecting with what is happening in front of its noses.
I become the mother who looks at the phone instead of her son, and who says “wait for this to end and I'm here” and then there is never because a new message always comes in to answer or an interesting post appears to see.
Does this sound like this to me? Did it ever happen to you? Do you feel your life passes while you like on Instagram or answer the thousands of whatsapp chats?
My story is improving, or so I feel it, because I found a method that is helping me a lot. And I want to tell it, because maybe it works for you too.
When I noticed all this that I am telling I made a key decision: first accept that I am addicted to the cell phone. It was the first and completely necessary big step, accepting and taking care of what happens to me. This involved making the effort not to be ashamed of being part of a huge percentage of today's society that cannot let 10 minutes go by without looking at their cell phone.
With acceptance came thousands of attempts (in my case frustrated) to use it less and less. I tried to leave it in airplane mode when I got home, turn it off, leave it in my room and try to stay in the kitchen or playing with my children. Everything worked for me for a very short time, because after a while I got anxiety or the idea that “maybe someone needed me or wanted to communicate with me”, I don't even tell you if any of my children were outside the house, it became impossible to leave the phone because I thought maybe something could happen and I would never find out.
I began to be more attentive to what happened to me when I was and when I was not with my cell phone nearby, and I noticed that there was a huge difference between the net use of the cell phone and the most addictive part and, in my obsessive case, with having a day work.
There came the idea of adding a second cell phone to my life. Yes, you are probably thinking “Another cell phone! This girl went crazy!”. Well, this time I think I did not go so crazy, because the second cell phone complies with the use clearly necessary to coexist in the 21st century but does not give me any chance of getting into addiction.
How the “peace cell” idea works for me:
- I use it at a time when I choose to start connecting 100% with me and my family. In my case from 18 until 6.30 the next day. At that time I turn off completely (not airplane mode because I tempt myself) my usual cell phone and turn on my “peace cell” to be connected but not “dumbfounded”
- It has all my recorded contacts, so I can communicate with whoever I want in case I need it
- All my close contacts know of their existence, and when they want to communicate with me and see that I am not online they write me to the “peace cell”. The good thing is that they do it only if it is urgent, and you know what? It almost never is, so nobody writes me and so during those hours I am free
- It has whatsapp, but since it's a different number from mine, I don't have any whatsapp group (mau chau chats, daddies, eldest son's soccer, minor's rugby, faculty food, gym class, or whatever). Bye chats for several hours a day!
- He has Waze, so I take care not to get lost in life every time I leave home
- It has no mails, therefore the laburo has to wait when I am with the “peace phone”
- It has no social network, so anxiety has only to go down because there is nowhere to look
- When I tell it, many people ask me about prices. I used an old cell phone that I had at home and the reality is that such a cell phone does not have much monthly cost because you almost do not need data and there are very cheap plans for those cases
Hopefully based on my story you can create your own idea to not be so addicted to your cell phone. It's time we all look in our eyes again and not so much at the screens.