As humans, I think most of us feel the need to be in the company of others. These days, even if you are physically alone, you’re not really alone. Technology such as cellphones, tablets, and laptops allow us to communicate with others at all times, whether it’s by phone calls, social networks, or forums on the internet. We don’t spend nearly enough time, if any, truly alone. Yet, this “connection” to the world makes us feel even more distant from ourselves.
I’ll admit it: I have a slight addiction to social media and technology. I find myself constantly refreshing my Twitter feed when I’m on my iPhone. Every time I get a new notification on Instagram, I instantly check it to see what someone said about one of my uploaded photos. I have over 200 Facebook friends on the internet, but only a handful of close friends in real life; yet I still feel the constant need to refresh my newsfeed and get an update on these strangers’ lives. Do these impulses make me feel any better? They do for a split second when I get an adrenaline rush, wondering what new statuses, tweets, or comments I’ll see. After that, I just feel like I’m wasting my time.
Wasting my time is exactly what I’m doing. I’ve just been noticing lately how addicted to technology I really am. Since I’ve grown up in the age of technology, I don’t know how to entertain myself when I’m alone, so I resort to dawdling on my iPhone. Even when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is check my phone. I feel the need to always be connected to others, and I’m not quite sure why.
What I do know is that I want to break free from this dependence. Before I got a smartphone, I spent more alone time alone with no distractions. I took the time to sit in isolation and read a book, listen to an album, or sit and just ponder my thoughts. These days, I check my phone every five minutes, or I open up my laptop and go online. Technology is restricting me from both going out and living my life, and from feeling at peace with myself. I’m glad I’m finally starting to realize what so many others aren’t, and I am excited to break free from technology and discover my true self.
My proposal for myself is that I’m going to attempt to use technology less. Instead of waking up in the morning to my Facebook feed, I’d much rather look out my window and watch the sunrise. When I’m in public alone, I’ll read a book instead of texting my friends about mindless gossip. I am going to become comfortable with being alone – physically and technologically – and disconnected from the world.