I sold my smartphone in May and replaced it with a rather feature-less “feature” phone. (I wrote about why I did this recently.) It’s been a bit of an adventure to step away from technology and into the trackless quiet of the heart.
Yes, smartphones are very convenient devices, and I look forward to getting another one soon, but for right now, it’s all about the quiet. And being a better listener, being more attentive to others and my surroundings, being more in tune with nature and the Infinite. That’s the key for me.
I don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with smartphones, unless it demands too much of your attention and you yield to its demands. That was my problem.
I have lost my “phone reflex” simply because I don’t have one. The phone reflex is that moment when you might have a thought to yourself and you look at your phone instead, looking for the answer to the question,, “What’s new?” of “Why did my phone just vibrate?” and “Why hasn’t Sammy texted me back? WHY?”
I can’t really express what a relief it is to not be “on” red alert 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
According to BusinessInsider, we touch our phones 2,500 and 5,400 times per day. This can’t be good.
It sometimes seems as if our phones function like an extra limb on our bodies. Now, research demonstrates exactly how attached to the devices we really are. The typical cellphone user touches his or her phone 2,617 time every day, according to a study by research firm Dscout. But that’s just the average user: The study found that extreme cellphone users — meaning the top 10% — touch their phones more than 5,400 times daily. (Emphasis added.)
That’s really a lot, more than I thought. How much time does all that touching consume? About 1/4 of our waking hours or over 4 hours per day, according to Hackernoon.
I am not saying that all that time on our, ahem, your phones is bad. I don’t believe that, but if you have lost control, if your phone is dominating your life, to the alienation of loved ones or even strangers on the train who want to exchange a few words with you, it has gone too far.
I couldn’t manage it—my compulsivity, that is—so I had to quit cold turkey (and I am so glad I did). I plan to get a new smartphone in the next few months, but if I can’t abide my own rules, I have promised myself that I won’t keep it. That’s the deal.