20 Jun Not upgrading your phone is the cure to your Smartphone Addiction
I’m finishing my two year contract of handset payments this month. No big deal – thousands of other people do this all the time of course. But this time, for me, it’s different.
It’s actually the first time I’ve ever entered a two year smartphone handset contract and made it all the way through.
Towards the end of my previous deal, my phone began to run out of battery if it wasn’t charged every hour. With me being an addict, and my then girlfriend guilt tripping me if I didn’t text back after a few minutes, I daren’t send it off for repair.
I remember the day of buying a new handset early as a huge relief. I lay on the sofa and stroked at it like it was my precious. Phew, I was connected again. No more separation anxiety from an inanimate object. Ironically, the romantic relationship didn’t last long anyway, but the one with my smartphone went the distance.
If anything, these last years owning one of the smartest phones on the market has just taught me that such connectivity isn’t just unnecessary – it’s actually bad for you. After the honeymoon period, I felt constantly frazzled due to my proximity to an endless suck of news, dating apps and social media. I was spiralling into smartphone addiction.
For intermittent periods of my contract, I wanted to go completely cold turkey or just start using a dumb brick again. I actually thought about posting my smartphone to other people so I couldn’t use it. A lot of people who spend a lot of time on smartphones aren’t really conscious of just how much time they spend on their device. But I became aware – I wanted to stop, cut it off entirely, but couldn’t.
But now I don’t really have to make such an apparently radical decision. My contract is up – I’m no longer paying for a handset. My phone screen is cracked, the battery will more than likely fade in the standard fare of planned obsolescence. Within a few months, it will be as good as useless. I think I may just have found a cure to my smartphone addiction.
Will I be bothered? Nope. I can easily take a dumber phone. If there was such thing as a phone that just did Whatsapp, then I would buy it immediately (please tell me if there is in the comments). It’s strange that no one seems to have come up with such an invention yet. Bizarrely, the revamped Nokia 3310 was released with Twitter, but no Whatsapp. So you can read @RealDonaldTrump’s inane tweets, just not contact your friends.
I’ve never really been one for the most advanced handset. I’ve rarely seen the point. Okay camera, reasonable connectivity, being able to actually make some calls and message people are the priorities. I can do without social media and a plethora of whirring, clicking, distracting apps that just want to consume your attention.
Do you really need all this stuff right now? Do you really need to take selfies everywhere? Do you really need to Snapchat your life? I don’t. I’m quite comfortable slowing down when my smartphone loses its life and watching as my smartphone addiction lessens its grip. I’m pretty sure I’ll be a lot more productive.