How I Escaped SmartPhone Addiction

I bought my first cell phone about 20 years ago. It was handy for letting my husband know where we were when the kids and I were out running around, but since it was a prepaid phone and minutes were expensive, I only used it when necessary and kept it off most of the time.

I was forced to upgrade phones once or twice over the years, but I never got into using the thing regularly, partly because of the cost and partly because I like being out of the reach of others for periods of time. I need that time to think.

Once smartphones took hold, I looked into getting one and rejected the idea pretty quickly. As a writer and therefore a reader, I can’t stop myself from reading; I was addicted to news sites on the Internet before I ever got a cellphone. Having the Internet at hand 24/7 in the form of a smartphone would be going in the wrong direction.

Of course, like the few others who don’t have smartphones, I’ve suffered through having dinner guests who rudely keep checking their phones, nearly been hit by drivers who are checking their phones, and have occasionally been interrupted in worship by the chirping, dinging or singing of some fellow worshipper’s phone. Sigh.

But I never really thought about how fortunate I am to have evaded the call of the smartphone until I read this article. The writer describes his phone addiction and his efforts to break it in detail. (He also makes me glad that I’ve always limited my time on Twitter.) It’s particularly poignant that restricting his smartphone use now lets him spend more focused time with his wife and kids, but they too are addicted to their smartphones, so one has to wonder just how meaningful his newly gained time with them can be.

Someone recently pointed out to me that I miss out on a lot by not being on Fbook. That’s true. I wish that others in my family weren’t so addicted to posting their entire lives online where others can see and I can’t. That said, I think there’s a special place in hell for people like those who created Fbook, who lure people in with a software program that lets them keep in touch with others so they can make a lot of money sharing and selling those people’s personal information to other companies. I don’t want any part of that.

As for smartphones, that article made it pretty unlikely that I’ll ever get one. His experience makes a compelling case for living your life without becoming a slave to perpetual notifications on a gadget.


4 thoughts on “How I Escaped SmartPhone Addiction

  1. I too have escaped the siren-song of the Smartphone, but it’s only because I don’t have one. I succumb easily to the lure of computer interaction. I am learning to limit my Facebook time, but it’s far too easy to fall back into TooMuch.

    Because so many people interact via texting now, especially people that I need to be in contact with frequently, I am being pushed toward a smartphone. I do not want it. I don’t want to know how to work it. I don’t want to know how to text. I *like* my ignorance, thankyouverymuch.

  2. Susan, you can text on an old-school phone. That’s what I do, although it’s a bit cumbersome and I’ve been forced to relax my lifetime attachment to proper punctuation :0 I’d rather text on my dumbphone than be forced into a smartphone. Hope you can avoid getting a smartphone; you and I are in complete agreement on that! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. I thought this article would be about how you got away from a former addiction to smart phones rather than how you never bought one and so escaped an addiction. I can relate though because I loved my flip phone and was happy not to have a phone at my beck and call. Over time though, my flip phone gave way to a smart phone and honestly I’ve been glad to have it.

    I would like to point out though that smart phones in and of themselves are not evil. Just like anything else, there are definite pros and cons to owning one. Let me start with the pros. A smart phone is so much easier to use, especially for texting. They can serve as a dictionary, a gps, an encyclopedia, and a wonderful search tool. Our daughter has a serious food allergy so when we are traveling we use our smart phone(s) to find restaurant information so we can call ahead and find out if they are food allergy-helpful.

    Smart phones can help you save money. Some stores have coupons that are only mailed out and you can access them via your smart phone when you are checking out in the store. One store in particular lets you use your smart phone to scan your receipts, then it compares sale prices with other local stores and gives you back the difference in a savings “account”. You can then use that money in their store. We have saved a couple of hundred dollars just this year by using this app.

    One more example of the benefits of smart phones is a free app that lets you monitor your kids or other family members when they are away from home (with their smart phones). It shows you where they are, the route they took, how fast they were going in the vehicle (even if they were not the driver).

    You can read books on your smart phone, too. Kindle has a free app that will allow you to access to your reading material (although I much prefer reading real books there are times when one would like to read something they don’t own).

    Then there are the cons. Being addicted is definitely a major drawback to smart phones. Believe me, it is easy to get caught up in using your phone more often than is necessary. I’m in agreement with you that it can be annoying to hear a phone ringing during church or other events, a definite drawback. The biggest problem of all is not limited to smart phone. Using a phone of any kind while driving, or even walking, can lead to serious consequences.

    When owning a smart phone, one does need to place limits on it’s use and be respectful of others when using your phone (not at the dinner table!). Overall though, I would say that there are plenty of pros, many more than what I mentioned, and that sometimes having a smart phone can be a smart idea. 🙂

  4. You make some very good arguments for smart phones. I have a Kindle, so some of those things (including money-saving apps and ebooks) are available to me through it. Given that I’ve been addicted to the Internet for many years, I hate to exacerbate the situation with a smartphone!

    Thanks for stopping by and weighing in 🙂

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