“You’re always on your phone.” We’ve all probably heard that a thousand times.
Yeah, all right we get it.
I mean check out this video of MLB commentators blasting a group of selfie-loving teenage girls.
But I get it. I’m just as obsessed as the rest of them.
We are as attached to our phones as a needy girlfriend is to her latest boyfriend.
It makes me sick how often I pull up my Instagram feed to see the 20 new pictures posted since the last time I checked (and, yes, I might have just barely checked again).
A 2015 study by the Pew Research Center said that 89 percent of cellphone owners used their phones during the last social gathering they attended?
So if everyone else is doing it why do we need to change?
Well those same people who said they use their phones at social gathering aren’t happy about it; 82 percent of adults felt that the way they used their phones hurt conversation.
A recent New York Times article said that high school kids live by a three-person rule. When there are at least three people at the table engaged in conversation, then you are momentarily excused and can detach from the conversation.
The high schoolers interviewed said, “There is the magic of the always available elsewhere. You can put your attention wherever you want it to be. You can always be heard. You never have to be bored.”
A 2014 study published in Psychology Today says our obsession is a mix of major anxiety and a tiny bit of pleasure.
According to psychologists we all have a bad case of FOMO; we are worried about missing out on something in our virtual world.
But it seems that our virtual world is quickly blending in with reality. In a recent blog post on ManRepeller.com, Rob Fishman, former editor of BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and founder of Niche, tossed around the idea that the online world is shifting to our new reality.
We know what our friends are doing at all times. If it’s not texting, it’s SnapChat or Instagram.
But it’s not just our fear of missing out—social media is also great for relating to other people. Some of the best humor Instagram accounts most-liked posts are pictures we say, “Oh that’s so me.”
Oh and let’s not forget that we get some pleasure out of social media. It’s pretty fun to see your friend’s engagement pictures on Instagram (also, I’ll admit, depressing). And it’s great to read the latest tweets (like this). Just as the kids said in the Times article it’s great to escape and never be bored.
But we all know that our obsession, well, it’s not looking good.
We’re obsessed and we aren’t too happy about it.
(Oh and did I mention that Psychology Today mentioned we are pretty close to a psychiatric disorder—insert scared emoji here.)
So what should we do about it?
First of all, let’s take Elder Adrian Ochoa’s advice and “look up” from our phones every once in a while.
Unplug and engage with our friends.
Yeah it’s nice to see the latest Vines online but I promise they’ll still be there tomorrow.
A few weeks ago I took a two-week break from social media and, guys, I’m still here.
Oh, and I didn’t just survive, I loved it. I honestly could feel a big difference in my day.
No longer did I have bad thoughts like, “wow everyone is so happy” and “look at how beautiful she looks and I didn’t even brush my hair today.”
But guys I caved.
I re-downloaded. Sorry guys, I love social media. Come on, it’s fun.
And they say the first step in beating addiction it admitting there’s a problem.
Well like I said at the beginning… I’m obsessed.
How many times I checked social media while writing this post:
Watched Snapchats: 6 (including stories: 15)