Isabel Schneck, ’15
What were BHSEC students abuzz about on September 18th, 2013? Were they rejoicing over Liechtenstein’s addition to the UN in 1990, or celebrating the 1947 creation of the National Security Act? What about the first publication date for the New York Times, or Jimi Hendrix’s death? Surprisingly, these guesses are all wrong—on September 18th, 2013, the latest iPhone update, iOS7, was finally unveiled, and it was all the talk of BHSEC’s iPhone users. Y1 Io Brooks reported overhearing “four personal conversations between friends centered solely around the new software” on the day of its release. Instead of honoring these momentous days in history, we BHSEC students had a far bigger concern: an iPhone update that didn’t please many people anyway. So, if we’re so obsessed with this piece of software, what does that mean on a larger scale? How are our phones affecting us and our everyday lives? Is it possible we BHSEC students are becoming addicted to our phones?
Many people may feel attached to their phones because of the entertainment and information phones can provide. As students, the information tends to help us, while the entertainment aspect of a phone can be dangerous. Anna Goldelman, a Y1, explained how she tends to get hooked on certain apps or games, although she soon forgets them after about a week. She called such a habit “a huge time-waster,” and wishes she could find an app that would “shut down” certain other apps—at least for a certain period of time. This desire to shut off the dark forces within our phones (which can suck us in for hours) clearly points towards a dangerous addiction. In terms of our lives as students, this phone obsession may be doing us more harm than good. Several other students mentioned the side effect of procrastination that comes with the love of one’s phone. While having a plethora of information at our fingertips may help us complete assignments effectively, the instant access to games and social media poses the threat of procrastination, which can overshadow the benefits of phones.
However, many students were actually able to live without their phones for weeks on trips over the summer. Y1 Eli Rose went to Montana, where there was no wi-fi or cell phone service. He thinks he was able to manage without his phone because “everything was so much more interesting out there” that he “didn’t really felt the need to use it.” Similarly, Anna Goldelman participated in a one-month program that did not allow phones. In the program, she “spent hours biking and doing other activities” that could capture her attention and help her forget about her phone. It seems that, if we have interesting activities or routines, there may be less of a need to use our phones. These students have demonstrated an ability to wean themselves off their phones, but could you? Here are ten signs you might be addicted to your phone.
- You bring your phone with you into another room (including the bathroom).
- If you can’t find your phone and its sound is off, you begin sobbing. Your apocalypse has come.
- You are willing to risk your life by looking at your phone while you drive or cross the street.
- When people touch your phone, you feel overcome by frustration and start to contemplate violence.
- When you hang out with your friends, you spend the whole time on your phone and forget to talk to them.
- When you’re stuck near a weird stranger the first thing you do is reach for your phone.
- You go out with your friends just so that you have some food or an illusion of a social life to put on Instagram.
- You think your phone is ringing or vibrating when it isn’t.
- When you drop your phone, you whisper “are you okay, baby?”
- You have bruises on your face from dropping your phone on your face each night before you go to sleep.
If many of these points apply to you and you’re feeling like a phone addict, have no fear. It seems inevitable that our generation and those to come will simply adapt to the growing presence of technology in our lives. Technology is making our world easier to manage and explore, and our abilities as humans are constantly expanding because of it. But if there’s one thing you should worry about, it’s that your phone may be making you a narcissist. After all, in the words of Eli Rose: “oh I forgot about selfies!…that’s like all I use my phone for.”