This morning, while walking to work on Division Avenue, I spotted the most amazing classic, who knows what, vintage American car. Faded matte red, incredibly long, slim, angular, and low to the ground–a stretched out, more rectangular, hardtop version of this Datsun I shot two years ago that was parked on a street in Boyles Heights, South LA.
This car was sitting pretty, perfectly framed by a wall tagged with bright pink graffiti.
I wasn’t running late, and even if I were, I still would’ve stopped to take a photo of it.
But as it happened, on leaving my apartment, carrying bags of garbage and recycling, something I was mailing to LA, along with juggling gloves, a hat and scarf, and wearing this blue jacket that has curiously small pockets, I inadvertently left my phone behind.
Yet, surprisingly, my initial disappointment and two-second debate with myself–go back for the phone or keep going–was overpowered by a definite feeling of joy in my leaving the device behind.
We’re only recently beginning to study the effects, physically, psychologically, globally, on our… to borrow a phrase from a recent Huffington Post piece on this same topic… “creepy attachment to our cell phones and devices.”
Creepy? 22 hours per day. 150 times a day. People ages 18-44 have their smartphones with them on average 22 hours a day and check it 150 times a day.
The Huffpo article includes a study by James Roberts, PhD, a professor of marketing at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, who surveyed 164 college undergrads about their relationships to their phones and explored which cell phone activities seemed to be most associated with cell phone “addiction.” “He found that they differed between male and female participants” and hypothesized “that the gender differences could mean that women use their phone to foster social relationships, while men are more interested in entertainment and usefulness.”
Bottom line, what seems to be happening, and I count myself among this group, is that we’re forgetting that the device is a tool. It doesn’t dictate our lives, We do this and that and that. Not the phone. Not the iPad.
There’s certainly a healthier approach to our relationship to it…them. I’m saying this as much to myself as I am to you. There must be, yes?
In the same vain as leaving the phone behind, or unplugging, which is a popular way of describing this action, though I suspect the word is repeated more than the act itself performed, I’ve read about some interesting ways people are…fighting the phone addiction.
One involves financial repurcussions. Cell phone stacking at restaurants.
During a dinner gathering, everyone leaves their phones in a stack. First person to reach for it before the dinner ends, pays the check.
Ironically, I’ve been typing away on my android for an hour to get this post up before midnight since I’m participating in the #yourturnchallenge and I’m on day 2 of posting 7 days a week.
Excuses excuses. Anyhow, I’m glad for the accidental phone detachment today. I worked more efficiently. Didn’t text. No foodporn photos. Facebook check-ins…
Since I started with a Huffpo article, I’ll close with another one. And add my own No. 1. Head to the bath house. Check your phone in and fogetaboutit! 18 Ways to Unplug.