10 things

I hate about you…my phone

Written by Victoria Clapham

Like many people, my mobile phone has become an honorary appendage I feel very uncomfortable without. It’s become so intrinsically linked to all areas of my life, that not

It’s these feelings that demonstrate the love/hate relationship I have with my phone. On the plus side it’s what keeps us connected to people, organised and informed – whether it’s work or play. From sending a WhatsApp or checking in on social media, to capturing life’s memories with the camera or recording my favourite programme from afar. There’s literally an app for everything. Yet, this also highlights the downsides which have significant impact on our relationships, mental health and wellbeing.

Here are 10 things I hate most about my phone and why on Saturday 21st January I’ll be fully embracing the No Phones At Home Day:

1. It’s a time thief

Before you know it, several hours have been wasted scrolling reels or social media feeds and I’ve got nothing productive to show from that time.

2. It distracts you from focusing on one thing

You can’t just focus on watching a program on TV and immersing yourself in the storyline – you need to IMBD the entire cast and look into how tall they are and checking out what the Twitterati is saying. Or you end up looking at emails when someone is trying to have a conversation with you. It’s the complete opposite to being mindful.

3. It makes you constantly available

The notification pings of work emails, WhatsApp groups or app notices means you never fully switch off. The lines of work and home are more blurred than ever and unless you turn off those notifications, you are constantly ‘on’.

4. I’m readily exposed to other people’s drama

Being a member of any Facebook group will expose you to stories and events of total strangers and their drama and issues. Although there’s no denying the help and support this can bring people, it does mean you become involved in drama that has nothing to do with you yet can really affect you emotionally.

5. It triggers insecurities and knocks self-esteem

It’s hard not to compare yourself to others on social media, even if you try to remind yourself it is the highlight reel of their life with filters on. Whether it’s professionally or personally, looking at social media feeds can easily make you compare yourself to the incomparable which can leave you feeling pretty rubbish.

6. Become so dependent on it

As mentioned above, the anxiety you get when you don’t know where your phone is or if you’ve left it behind is uncomfortable. There is so much on there now that it’s no wonder we’re dependent on it but it’s not a nice feeling and you do feel beholden to it.

7. Data shared with everyone and their dog

Although there’s been recent rulings and changes by the likes of Apple to limit data sharing, there’s no doubt that our personal data is shared to more businesses and organizations than ever before – wittingly or not. We’ve all had the experience of chatting to someone about something for it only then to appear on our social media feeds to know the phone is capturing more than just our search traffic and step count every day.

8. Large consumer of energy bill

I thought as phones updated, battery life was meant to improve, but it does feel like mine and my family’s phones are constantly on charge! Which is further testament for the need for us to put them down more!

9. Overloaded with news

The last few years have been difficult for everyone with the constant barrage of negative and distressing news headlines. Not only do you receive the braking news notifications but going on any social media platform introduces you to headlines and stories you might never have known about. Again, this can be a good thing as it’s important we are informed, it only encourages the ‘doom scrolling’ which has a negative impact on our emotional and mental wellbeing.

10. Makes me an impulse purchaser of things I don’t need/want

I’m a marketers dream when it comes to social media adverts, especially during the night when the phone is my only companion! I end up scrolling through and being immersed in adverts for contraptions, clothing or make up I don’t need and end up buying. I dread to think how many purchases I’ve made between 2am-4am!

Going forward

Although my phone isn’t going anywhere as it’s an essential part of my life, I am conscious that the usage of it needs to be limited and it’s there to help me, not hinder. Being aware of the things I don’t like, will make me ‘do less’ of those things or make changes where needed and hopefully help develop a much healthier relationship with my phone.

My main actions are: