I had recently read an article that an increasing number of young millennials are unable to function in their daily lives without their smartphones. I was determined to prove them wrong by doing my own experiment. It must be scary to think that our grandparents will struggle to keep up with a lifestyle we are now so comfortable with.
My experiment started on Tuesday at midnight. I had made up my mind not to pick up my phone even if I woke up at night. When I woke up about 2:15am, I thought about checking my messages on Whatsapp, Telegram and Facebook but I didn’t. I went back to bed and didn’t get up till morning. I woke up relaxed and refreshed.
When I woke up, I prayed for a few minutes and read my hard copy Bible. When I was done, I went straight to the shower, brushed my teeth and got ready for work. I refused to take a selfie which I usually do when I’m dressed up and ready to head out. We had a quiet breakfast and we even remembered to pray. As I got into the car to drive off to work, I couldn’t do it anymore. I had a quick peep at my phone and there were lots of messages and missed calls from a few friends wondering if I was ok because I had been quiet.
I usually struggle with lots of noise as I take the kids to school. It was a rather quiet drive as I engaged the kids in some discussion on our way out. It’s usually a shouting match as they talk above each other while I’m chatting away on the car speaker with my girlfriends. Today was different, I even noticed a new pharmacy in the neighbourhood and saw a notice for an estate meeting planned for the weekend.
As I drove to work, I felt happy I wasn’t sleep deprived and I didn’t feel I was in a race against time multitasking while trying to keep up with all the gist on social media. I got to work and decided I’ll leave my phone in my bag on silent mode and would only check it at every two-hour interval. I had a backlog of reports to turn in the next day and didn’t want to get home late or have to apologize for missing the deadline.
It was unusual not listening to my phone chiming away throughout the day. I felt very focused and was able to concentrate on the report. Time had gone so quickly and I didn’t realise it was lunch time. Wow, I just realised how much of a distraction my gorgeous smartphone was. It has stolen hours of my good night snooze. My fragile heart had got used to lots of palpitations as a result of trying to do so many things at the same time.
Before I had lunch, I checked my phone, lots of missed calls and chats, none of them were important or urgent. I decided to catch up with all that at the close of business. I was done with my reports at 5.10pm, I submitted it and was on my way home. There was a lot of traffic getting home. I usually chat or call to pass time but I enjoyed listening to a soft jazz CD I had bought months ago but never got around listening to it.
That article was right. It was a lot of discipline for me all day. I’m beginning to ask myself the real cost of having a smartphone. Our lives are supposed to be simpler and easier but I’m not able to complete my tasks and leave work early if I spend lots of time online. I’m missing quality time with the kids and my spouse because I’m trying to take the perfect selfie or keep up with some hot gist on social media. Now I know what to do to make my life simpler!