Addict and Unashamed

First up, a disclaimer that the title of this post is an exaggeration, and does not discuss topics on serious addiction (though if that’s something you want to hear about, do please ask and I will write it).

Due to a series of unfortunate events (who else is loving that show btw???), I lost my phone on Monday night in Cardiff. Initially, I was calm. I imagined that it would be returned to me shortly, and I could get on a train back to Winchester with everything resolved.

That was not to be the case. Two days later, I am home, safe, and with a new phone on the way to me, after my dad told me to just buy a new one and that I “can’t just put my life on hold because of a phone”. He is, of course, correct. I could have chosen to stay at Finn’s for an extra night (which admittedly would have been lovely), but it wasn’t going to help me get my phone back.

So now I’ve been unwillingly forced into surviving for 4 days without a phone, I’ve also been forced to evaluate my communication methods. And I have come to the conclusion that young people who are glued to their phones are not bad people.

It seems that everyday we are shown articles (ironically through social media on our phones) about how to be less dependent on our mobiles, and the health benefits of doing so, etc etc etc. And while that definitely promotes a healthy lifestyle, I honestly believe it’s time to stop acting as though being attached to a mobile is part of a horrible and damaging lifestyle.

Personally, I have struggled for the past few days from not having a phone. Before anyone kicks off and tells me that it’s because I’m too dependent on it etc, I will admit it:

I am addicted to my phone.

Yet I refuse to see this as an addition that needs to be beaten. I don’t need to ‘get better’ at being without a phone. In today’s society, long-distance communication is so much more easy, and the ability to talk to people in the next room, street, or country can be done in an instant. Young people are constantly being told that technology is making us more anti-social. I disagree. I believe that the methods of communication available to us have drastically changed, and being out of touch with current technology is the isolating and anti-social aspect.

Having access to a mobile device allows instant and constant communication when it is desired. It can be switched off. However, the absence of such a device effectively serves to cut off the individual until they attempt communication. As someone with mental health problems, this is problematic for me. As someone who has also been physically ill for the past couple of days, it is increasingly problematic. I have been left with pretty much sole communication through my laptop – which while mobile, is moderately cumbersome and doesn’t have the benefit of notifications. While this may seem a trivial issue, it has left me feeling isolated and increasingly frustrated as to attempt communication means sitting behind the screen to see if anyone has sent me anything.

The truth is, we live in a social society. The way that we communicate has changed. Allowing ourselves to be constantly reachable doesn’t mean that we are giving our lives to our mobiles, it simply means that we are saying “if you want to talk, I am here”. There is a vast difference between being available, and being glued, body and soul to your phone. As a young person in today’s social society, being without has certainly shown me the benefits of instant communication through mobiles, and that this shouldn’t be frowned upon.

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