An open letter to my phone

26 Feb 2018

Smartphone addiction

Babes, I think we need to break up.

I know you’re thinking woah where has this come from, and that’s fair. You and me are close after all. So close that we didn’t even notice it got weird.

No, no, no, don’t argue with me. I spend more time with you then I do literally any other human being. I mean, come on, you sit on the table when I’m out for dinner with my friends (and, okay, their phones do the same but that doesn’t make it right). You distract me when I’m at work. You’re coming to bed with me. You’re coming to the bathroom with me for crying out loud. It’s fucking weird and enough is enough.

I know it will shock you, but I’ve thinking about this for a while. It’s been building gradually, this thought that maybe you and I don’t have the healthiest of relationships. It’s just hard though, because nearly everyone I know also has a similar relationship with their phones, so it’s kinda difficult to realise there’s a problem here. But the idea has been there, building slowly.

And then I read this article. Which led me to read this book. And then things kinda just… spiralled.

So here goes.

Phone, I think I’m addicted to you.

I know, it sounds dramatic. But if you think the idea of being addicted to your smartphone sounds dramatic, chances are you’re probably addicted yourself.

You’re amazing babe, you really are. The things you can do, the opportunities you can give me. Seriously, bravo. You’re acing life.

It’s just, the problem is, I think your awesomeness is kinda preventing people from actually living. From being in the moment.

Take Singapore for example. One night, we were watching the Gardens by the Bay light show. You know this; you were there of course. And the experience was slightly hampered by the two people next to us who decided to film the show. And, hey, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that in theory. But I couldn’t help but watch them. I watched how they raised their phones, pressed record and then watched this amazing light show happening right in front of them, through their screen.  They then stopped recording and watched the video back there and then. Oh and then they went on Instagram to upload it. Not only was this friggin’ irritating for those around them, the more worrying aspect was I’m not convinced they actually looked at this amazing light show happening in front of them with their own eyes. And let’s face it, this is not an uncommon occurrence.

Sorry but, I am not okay with that. And I doubt most people would be… yet we all seem to be doing it.

And that’s not all phone, my dear. The facts are scary, and I don’t think they can be ignored any longer.

You’re designed to addict me, I am addicted to you, and yet it’s considered normal to be constantly glued to you. You and your friends are messing with our lives and no one is doing anything about it. You’re so new to us that we’re not taking this addiction seriously.

Phones are designed to manipulate our brain chemistry, to trigger dopamine and activate addictive behaviours. And it gets worse. Phones are actually changing the way our brains are wired. They’re killing our attention spans, messing with our memories, ruining our sleep and dampening our creativity.

These are not bold claims phone, these are proven facts. That is what you are doing to me. It’s just taken me a while to realise.

This isn’t the end for us. You can still be a part of my life, still bring me joy. But phone my dear, we’ve hit a point where I feel like I can’t live without you. And, well, that’s not normal is it? So things have to change, because I want my life back. A life not lived through a screen.

And that’s why I have to break up with you.