What Happens When You Stop Using Your Smartphone?
By Sandy Schroeder
Who abandons their smartphone? Even asking that question may seem incredible, but it turns out people like Warren Buffett (well not just like him, obviously), are now making their calls on an old-fashioned flip phone. Why that happens raises some interesting questions about our culture.
Recently, Ray Germano, a teacher at New York University, reported how this works in the Los Angeles Times. Germano’s smartphone was stolen and he replaced it with a flip phone. As he was about to select another smartphone, he asked himself if it made his life better or worse, and then he chose a used flip phone instead.
How Smartphones Affect Us
Researchers often support his choice, saying “Addictive apps are rewiring our brains, wasting our time and making it harder to focus.”
They say the blue light from the screens cuts into our sleep, the social media depresses us, and the driving distractions cause more crashes and deaths.
Think about your smartphone and see if you agree with these additional effects.
Forgetting to just sit and think - How long has it been since you have just paused and let your thoughts stream by? Or do you automatically reach for your phone when you have a spare moment?
Giving up great conversations – You may remember the ones you used to have over coffee, lunch or dinner. Now we all talk in spurts as we stay close to our phones.
Skipping interaction with kids – At breakfast or dinner, or later in the evening, how often do you just sit and talk with your kids? Or does a digital device take your place?
Gluing us to our jobs – Do you check your phone for messages the minute you wake up, and the last thing at night? Is your phone invading your sleep, keeping you focused on your job instead of letting you take the restful break you need?
On the plus side, the author said he saved about $1,000 in phone costs over a year’s time, completed a book that he had been writing with newly found spare time, and rediscovered how great it can be to thoroughly enjoy a social interaction without a smartphone's nagging buzz.
He did have to learn how to read a map again, not take pictures of everything, and ride his bike instead of calling for rides, but he feels the benefits to his “mental health, relationships, productivity, savings and privacy” are worth the tradeoffs.
As time spins forward, phones will continue to evolve. We just need to decide what works best for us.
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