Remaining Present in a Smartphone-Obsessed World

In a recent New York Times article titled, “How to Break Up With Your Phone”, Catherine Price depicts a personal anecdote in which an intimate moment with her newborn daughter is interrupted by the glowing screen of her cellphone, leaving her perturbed.

It’s a subject of much contention: How can we remain present and in the moment when we can’t stop staring at our phones? Moment, a time-tracking app that can help you set limits on phone usage, compiled data from five million users showing we spend on average four hours a day on our phones. It’s a startling figure, and one I think we are all beginning to feel concerned about. After all, we are the first generation of guinea pigs to see how this will ultimately affect us.

I’ve often found myself throwing my phone down in disgust after mindlessly browsing Instagram for too long, to the point where I decided to deactivate my account and delete the application from my phone. Since then, I’ve found my productivity to significantly increase. Removing the source of your procrastination is key, as hard as it is.

Another method I’ve found helpful is to set your iPhone’s color settings to grayscale. This will eliminate the color stimuli that keeps us coming back for more. Essentially, color is addictive.

It’s a difficult pill to swallow. Our lives have been made so much easier with technology, but at what price? Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to stagger their phone usage and end up using it at inappropriate times, causing interpersonal issues with friends and family. Are we willing to sacrifice our personal relationships for convenience?

There needs to be more conversation about how we can combat this addiction, how it affects our lives, and what tools we can use to help. For now, I believe eliminating time-wasting applications, using time-tracking apps, and reducing our intake of color is a great first step towards awareness, as well as a happier, more present existence.