[ Cherom Riamuk ]
Let’s be honest, we cannot live without our phones. They have taken over our mind to a level that it seems impossible to survive without them even for an hour. From a baby to an old lady, we are all hooked to it. My entire family is a living example of this phenomenon or maybe yours is too.
Only a few months ago, my mom did not know how to unlock a smartphone, but once we got her one, we barely manage to have a conversation now because she is always busy sharing her photos with her friends.
Smartphones have a ton of disadvantages, like lack of interpersonal interaction in life, skin cancer, eye strain and so on. There are certainly advantages to technology, but many do not make full use of its rightful purpose.
I am a victim of technology too. I use my smartphone for more than eight hours on a daily basis. As a high school girl, I barely need to invest so much time on it. One time, I spent 23 hours a day on my phone and proudly made an announcement of this “unworthy” achievement to my entire family in the WhatsApp group only to get scolded for two hours straight and grounded for a week.
This addiction of mine is called nomophobia. While it may sound cool to some, it should be known that it means “the irrational fear of being without your mobile phone or being unable to use your phone for some reason, such as the absence of a signal or running out of minutes or battery power,” as learnt through several Google searches.
Some symptoms of nomophobia, through personal research and a little help from Google, include anxiety, depression, discomfort, panic and other such symptoms.
I went on to try a small experiment on myself to see if I could get rid of this addiction of mine in a day’s time. I decided to stay away from my phone for 24 hours.
I kept my phone on my table so that it could be within eyesight and tempt me.
I was fine during the first few minutes, but after a lapse of two hours, I began getting anxious and a lot of ideas, which could be done only through a phone, began popping up my mind.
Four hours into the experiment and I tried distracting myself by reading a book or doing some homework, but that did not last for long.
I tried concentrating on a particular work six hours into the experiment but could not remain focused and I finally gave up at the seventh hour.
With a goal of 24 hours of no phone, I managed to stay without one for merely seven hours.
I hate the fact that the moment I got hold of my phone I felt amazing; as if I had just woken up from a good nap, or like I ate food after a long fast.
The experiment caused a lot of anxiety in me. The amount of restlessness I felt was more intense than confessing to my crush. I believe it is because my brain failed me or probably because I used the wrong method.
At the end of it all, I can say it is not possible to fully abandon technology, but we should follow a way to adopt digital minimalism.