Relationships with phones can be toxic in people’s lives

Sloane Morra

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As we unlock our smartphones everyday, we enter a world of consuming other people’s content and lives. The constant need to be on our cellphones takes us away from living in the present,

If you think about it, most of us have our phones on us all the time. We use them during class, in the car and even during conversations. You may even spend more time with your phone than with your family throughout the day.

For most teens, as soon as we wake up, we are grabbing our phones to either silence our alarms, check social media or respond to text messages. For most people, they are the first thing they see in the morning. According to The Economic Times, 61% of people check their phones within five minutes of waking up. The first five minutes after your alarm goes off can be an accurate preview of how the rest of your day is going to go. By checking your phone as soon as you get up, you are starting your day on your smartphone’s terms, instead of your own. In this sense, phones could be compared to a controlling significant other, as they have taken charge of how our day is going to ensue.

We all know that moment of panic when you check your pocket and the spot where your phone usually rests is empty. This is a sign that we are too attached to our phones, and that we need to take a step back from our phone usage. Our strong attachment to our devices is unhealthy.

Relationships with phones can also affect your relationships with other people. Often during conversation, family time or when hanging out with friends, phones are in attendance. Before phones, humans were forced to be present in the moment of whatever they were doing and whoever they were with. Now, people could be looking into the past by searching through old pictures on their photos app, or they could even be engaging in other people’s lives by mindlessly scrolling through their social media.

Many even go to the extent of texting the person they are with while seated right next to one another. Catching up on other people’s lives prevents you from making and maintaining relationships with the people you are actually spending time with.

On the Apple iPhone, there is a tab in the settings app called “screentime,” which allows you to track and monitor the amount of time you are spending on your device. According to blog.rescuetime, most people on average spend 3 hours 15 minutes on their phones daily. If you think about it, that is an absurd amount of time. Think about all the things you can do in three hours besides scrolling through Instagram or sending pointless videos to your friends.

Next time when you’re in the middle of a conversation or hanging out with friends and family, resist the sudden urge to pull out your phone and try to live in the moment.