By Chris Shaddock
Recently, I had a short amount of time in which I did not have access to my phone, and it affected me more than I would like to admit. It was only for the span of 24 hours, but in that time, there were some funny withdrawal effects. Whenever I was bored, I would reach into my right-hand pocket, only to remember there was nothing I could do to kill time. Every hour or so, I would panic because I did not feel my phone in my pocket, only to remember that I was not supposed to have it with me. For the first time in a long time, I had to run without music and it was the most unbearable 30 minute run I ever endured. Because of all this, I have decided that I am probably a little bit addicted to my phone.
For that small amount of time, I felt that a piece of me was missing. It sounds ridiculous, but I would argue that I am less addicted to my phone compared to most people I know. I primarily use my phone to listen to music and to look at memes. Granted, I do both of these activities a lot, but they are something I can do throughout the day with basically no distraction and only for the sake of killing time.
Typically, I prefer talking to people in person rather than through messaging because it feels better. It gets to the point that I hold off telling people stuff, so that I can tell them later in person. The only time I ever message people is if I know I will not see a particular person anytime soon or if it is something particularly urgent. Additionally, with the exception of Snapchat, which I only use jokingly, I do not really use social media. I am too lazy to frequently post things and kind of lose interest in finding out what people did on their vacation or how they feel about a controversial topic.
Everyone is addicted to their phones in some way. It is in the nature of smartphones to be addictive, just as it is in the nature of people to be addicted to them. Smartphones provide content at a rapid rate and people consume this content. The more content we consume, the more our smartphones produce. It is a consistent symbiotic relationship, to which dependency grows in correlation to the connectivity one has with his or her phone.
In some ways it is not necessarily a bad thing. Phones are awesome, as they make life easier and better. But I remember a time when I did not need a smartphone. It was a time when if I was bored when waiting in line, I would talk to someone or daydream. A time when I could get into a stupid argument with someone over whether something was true because neither of us could easily find evidence to prove it. A time when I was not constantly being reminded of issues going on in the world from pop-ups on my phone.
Now I always need a smartphone. Perhaps I could go back to the way it was before, but I would feel lesser without a phone. Maybe that is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is not a good thing either.
(On an editor’s side note, in issue 1, Emma Downes’s article “Character U’s 2018 freshman orientation a success” had a falsehood which stated that Character U runs orientation. It is actually the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership that plans and executes freshmen orientation. While, Character U plays a part in orientation, they are not the ones who worked to get the event running.)