I really need to learn to put my phone down

I really need to learn to put my phone down

Last Tuesday, Snapchat servers around the globe dropped for a few hours in the afternoon. At 3:00 p.m., when I arrived back home, I immediately attempted to check my Snapchat and catch up on the happenings of the day. Upon being unable to sign in, I completely panicked and imagined all sorts of scenarios. Have I been locked out? Hacked? Why couldn’t I get in?

After several hours of this panic, I stepped back and objectively considered my “issue.” I legitimately began laughing at myself when I reflected upon my idiotic reaction to not being able to use Snapchat for four hours. Complete hysteria solely due to being unable to use the app for a matter of hours? How unwarranted.

I consider my Snapchat to be my main connection to the rest of the world. I find it amazing that in a matter of seconds, I can communicate with anyone in any country from right here in Michigan. The pink and purple squares that pop up on my screen represent the links that I have to people worldwide.

As my ever-growing Snapchat streaks near four, five, even six hundred, my fixation with the app only grows. I use my streaks as my guarantee that I will remain friends with people who live on different continents. The requirement that I must send them a message at least once a day to keep my streak alive has turned into quite the spectacle. I now realize that I’m letting these numbers on my screen completely control me; as if I was possessed, I ritually send messages at the same time every day to keep the streaks alive.

Although it’s great that I have been able to retain so many friendships, Snapchat has developed into an equally hazardous issue for me. I find it difficult to focus on a task for more than twenty minutes at a time without refreshing my social media feeds at least once. This stalling leaves me scrambling to finish important tasks until the very last moment possible.

This problem extends much farther than just one app. Between Snapchat, Instagram, iMessage, and even just the never-ending abyss of the Internet, I find myself constantly enthralled and inattentive. I never struggled with procrastination until the distractions were constantly present to engage me.

My addiction to my phone has truly turned into a cyclone. What started off small has spiraled and spiraled into a much bigger problem, picking up speed and strength over the course of time. I fear that if I continue down this path, my work ethic and success may be influenced by my persistent distraction.

There’s no doubt that my phone and all the communication that comes with it has improved my life and helped me through so many huge changes. But even with all its glory, my phone usage has progressed into an obsession. It’s compelling yet addictive powers have turned it into both my best friend and my worst enemy.