Put down that phone

Humanity is on the brink of total chaos. It’s already that way in some countries. They live day to day, not knowing where the next meal will come from or whether or not they will be shot. While none of us are promised tomorrow, that tomorrow is really in jeopardy for those people who live in those places where they could be killed for just being outside that day.
We are in fact becoming dehumanized every day. Not only do I blame it on the TV but also on those cell phones which control us and keep us from face to face interaction.
We even know that it’s unhealthy and there are some claims it even can increase our chances of cancer, but we continue to keep our eyes glued and our fingers typing out messages. In fact, I would call it an addiction — a very dangerous one.
I recently read some statistics which made me pause in reflection to consider my cell phone use. Because of it, I now leave my cell phone in the car when going out to eat and try to not pick it up at other times either. In fact, I am trying to limit myself to checking it only three times a day. If you think that’s easy, just try it.
Statistics reveal that on the average, people check their cell phone 110 times through the day. Translate that into hours and it comes to about 3.6 hours spent on the cell phone at least each day. For some people that number is even higher, especially for the younger generation. Calculate further and that means more than one entire day is spent on the cell phone each week (25.2 hours). That means you have wasted more than 56 days on the phone a year. Do you really want that cell phone to control you and your time that much? I don’t. My time is more valuable than that to me.
Let’s look at some of the other statistics. Seventy-five percent of users check their phone within the first hour of getting out of bed in the morning. Sixty-one percent actually sleep with their phone turned on under their pillow or next to their bed. Fifty-percent of users feel anxious or uncomfortable if they forget their cell phone or if there is no service in the area.
Fifty-eight percent of children aged three to five can operate a smartphone, but only one to six percent know how to make their own breakfast and a small percentage of them are still in diapers. Fifty-one percent of users check their phone constantly while on a vacation. Forty percent even check their cell phone while on the toilet and believe it or not 12% check it while in the shower.
Twenty-six percent of car accidents are related to cell phone usage. There have been reports of people walking into traffic and even railway crossings because they are so deeply engrossed in the cell phone their mind doesn’t register the danger of what they are doing.
Parents, if you are one of those who are constantly on the cell phone, you and your children are missing out. And the bad cell phone addiction is being passed down to them. They mimic what they see you doing.
With all of this, we are losing the ability to communicate verbally. People even sit across from each other or in the same house and text messages back and forth! Really! Parents should not allow this. It’s insanity. It’s no wonder our children don’t want to play outside but are inside on tablets or phones or watching TV.
It’s not that such technology is necessarily bad, it’s how we react to it and overuse it and if it is an addiction. There must be limits and parents should set the example for their children.
We don’t have to be constantly connected to people outside of our homes and family. In reality, the digital connection is not a real personal relationship with the person, no matter how much you think it is. The touch screen has nothing to do with real “touch” at all. Social media should really be called anti-social.
If you want to interact with someone on a meaningful level, do it face to face. It’s face to face that you experience being heard and understood. Technology has separated us from each other and made us selfish. But we can change this if we try.
Cell phones are distractions and keep you from real relationships with those you love. They keep from you from focusing on what you should be doing.
When you are out with other people, keeping your head in your cell phone is just plain rude and shows a lack of respect for others. You want people to start being more compassionate and caring, then take control and put that cell phone down and actually talk to each other. Your life will be better and you will experience benefits in other ways. If you are addicted to and controlled by your cell phone, you are not living life to the fullest.
You really want that piece of equipment in your hand to control you? I challenge each of you to unplug from the phone each day and begin having actual conversations with people. Make eye contact and smile. Your brain and your family will thank you.

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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