My iPhone and I get along well. Besides acting as a phone, it gives me directions when I am lost, mentions when I need to grab a coat before I head out the door, reminds me of family birthdays, and keeps me company when I have insomnia in the middle of the night. And yet, more and more, I have been feeling suffocated. My iPhone and I are just a bit too cozy these days.
After I mentioned (nay, Facebooked) the idea of taking a break from my iPhone, my partner responded with trepidation.
“That’s like getting rid of all the food in your house just to go on a diet.”
“Ah,” I noted, “but we actually need food to survive.”
I posited that walking away from my iPhone was more akin to getting rid of all of one’s blow in order to stop an extreme cocaine habit.
Turns out, we aren’t addicted to our iPhone (nor are they a substitute for nourishment). The truth is, we love our iPhones. That’s right. We. Love. Our. iPhones. (Perhaps not with our hearts, but certainly with our minds.)
This love is certifiably scientific; in a study documented in Brandwashed, researchers played a ringing and a vibrating iPhone for volunteers. The expectation was that they would see the same mental response as addiction (cocaine and the like, as I had posited). Instead, they found:
…a flurry of activation in the brain’s inula—which is connected to feelings of love and compassion…subjects loved their iPhones; their brains responded to the sound of the phones the same way they would respond to their boyfriend, girlfriend, nephew, or family pet. In short, it may not be addiction in the medic sense, but it is true love.
Now, I’m not ready for anything drastic like dumping my iPhone, but I do simply need a bit of space; it is time to start defining some boundaries in this relationship. And so, my iPhone and I are coming to a compromise where I chisel out some much needed me time.
These are a few places you won’t see my iPhone accompanying me anymore:
- At mealtimes. When I was growing up, we weren’t allowed to watch t.v. while eating. Instead, we had to sit and talk to the people at the table. I’m awfully nostalgic for those times. No more checking email under the table for me. No iPhone at meals. (Not even if my dinner partners goes to the little artists room.)
- In the bathtub. Arguably, my phone never should have been here in the first place. I could have easily dropped and harmed it. In fact, let’s be honest, a phone doesn’t belong in a bathroom at all.
- Middle of the nights are now reserved for cuddles and books. Real, tangible, paper books. (And, real, tangible cuddles for that matter.)
- Stop lights. I’d like to say that I never check my email at lights, but that’s just not true. Until right now.