Inspired by the prompt Bloggers, Unplugged
I will occasionally moan about smart phones in the way that a lot people do. I see people staring at them rather than noticing things around them, or peeking at them every now and then when they are talking to someone and sometimes I slightly hypocritically judge them.
I use my phone so much. It can be very useful. I use mine for learning French, listening to new music and and writing on the bumpy bus where writing in a notepad would just be too difficult.
I like that everything is there and it lets me know if anyone tries to get in contact with me in any way. Whether they send a text, Facebook message or email, my phone will let me know and I will not have to wait until I get round to checking the appropriate website on my computer.
But is that a good thing? I do not need to be constantly reachable, and I usually take a few days to reply anyway. When my first smart phone broke and I temporarily went back to my older phone, I felt a bit annoyed that I could not look at my social media or know instantly whether someone had contacted me. It felt like such a chore to have to go on my laptop to check all the individual websites and see if anyone had sent me anything.
So I reckon I could do with being a bit more unplugged. I would not say I was constantly looking at my phone, but I could do with limiting my time on there. Sometimes I do wonder how much time I actually spend looking at my phone that could be better spent on other things.
I think that sometimes it can make it much harder to be present in the moment if I can instantly look at what someone else is doing, or am constantly thinking of taking a photograph or thought I can share.
Which is why is probably is good to unplug every now and then, to remind myself that not being constantly contactable is okay!
I do not think that the social media sites that I scroll through are bad. I love looking at pretty pictures on Instagram and attempting to take my own, I like reading little snippets of peoples thoughts on Twitter and I like keeping up to date with friends on Facebook, but everything in moderation right?
While I was writing this post I got reminded of the UNICEF tap project, which was run last year. The aim was to get people to go without their phones for as long as possible, for every 15 minutes someone went without their phone their sponsor would donate money towards clean water and sanitation for those who need it. The time donations are inactive now, but it was still interesting.
When you visit the mobile site it knows when your phone is at rest and starts the timer. The site occasionally flash up facts such as how many #nofilter photos have been posted while you have been away from your phone, it was an interesting way to put things in perspective. When you are wrapped up in social media; worrying about likes and follows and re-tweets it can be hard to remember that there are bigger things going on.
So, I won’t throw away the smart phone just yet. But I will try to remember that what I scroll through on social media is not real life, and probably does not deserve quite so much of my attention.