Can’t keep checking my phone – By @aliceburden1

By Alice Burden


Can’t keep checking my phone


I hate my phone. I use it way too much. I’ve refreshed the guardian home page 30 times in 15 minutes. I’ve got sucked into a wikipedia hole. I’ve spent hours and hours just scrolling through reddit. I’ve tried everything to make myself stop – limits on screen time, grayscale mode, deleting facebook. But nothing seems to work.


I’ve been unemployed since June and during my long dull days my best friend was instagram. I have spent hours looking at scandi influencers, cake decoration clips and weight loss accounts. I think I used instagram as a form of escapism from my boring life but all it did was make me feel really bad about myself.


My phone was constantly in my hand. If it wasn’t instagram, it was whatsapp. I’m in three very active group chats and I felt compelled to narrate every part of my day to them. It was exhausting. And what I got in return wasn’t useful at all; my friends and family weren’t saying anything important.


On our first day at SCA, Marc told us that we had to turn our phones off while we were there. I steeled myself, let everyone know that they wouldn’t hear from me and then I shut it down. 


It was like taking a breath of fresh air. Having an external being tell me I had to turn it off gave me permission to ignore the calls, messages and posts without feeling bad about it. 


It’s been great for me to have it turned off all day. I feel much more present in the room and more connected with everyone else and what’s being taught. 


Marc used the following quote to explain why we don’t use our phones at SCA: “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future.  If you are at peace you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu. He told us that phones connect us to the past and future, so we need to turn them off to be present.


I also think us young folk have a problem of talking to people while using our phones. It’s rude. Good companies don’t want to hire rude people. Using your phone while you’re working also shows that you don’t take it seriously. Good companies want to hire people who are serious about their work. Mobile phones are a distraction.


I still need my phone for making calls, but the problem is, it’s become my everything. It’s my camera, my wallet, my book. In the evenings and at the weekend I have become so aware of how much I’m still using my phone. It’s like a drug to me. I get out of SCA, turn my phone on and scroll til bed time. If it makes me feel better not to use it, then why do I feel so compelled? I need to work on this.


All in all, I think I’m slowly making changes which are helping to reduce my screen time but I need to be more mindful of how much I’m using it and how much I really get out of it.


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