It’s time to detach from our phones

By ESMERALDA OLGUIN

All my family gathered up for my sister’s birthday dinner, something that never happens.

From the moment we sat down, I buried my face in my cellphone.

As our server came to take our order, I looked up only to see my family ignoring her because like me, they were all on their cellphones.

I pointed out how rude they were being going back to their phones as soon as the server left, rather than socializing with each other.

Cellphones have become an essential item in our everyday lives.

Of course they come in handy in case of an emergency and are a way of communicating with others instantly, but it seems as if cellphones are no longer just about communicating.

I tend to check my phone about every two minutes, even if I am not expecting a call or text.

The screen isn’t lit up, but there’s a feeling that if I check it, maybe, just maybe, there will be something there.

Soon, you drift away to social media.

Maybe there’s something waiting for you there. Even if there’s not, the apps are already open, so you begin to look through them until you realize that 10 minutes have passed.

The time you were planning on using for homework or meeting with family and friends is gone.

Even my 55-year-old father, who recently got his first smartphone, has adopted these habits.

He does not have any social media and is still learning how to text, but he checks his phone every few minutes.

His weather and horoscope apps are opened at least 20 times a day, even when it’s the same as when he checked 15 minutes earlier.

Constantly checking your phone becomes a distraction regardless of how good you think you are at multitasking.

We may think we are listening to what others are saying, but that is not always the case.

Friends and family have told me several times that they feel ignored when I am on my cellphone.

The constant need to check my cellphone has become a major distraction when doing homework or attending class.

An assignment that should only take 20 minutes can end up taking an hour due to the distraction.

Most of us are aware that high cellphone usage is an issue, but not many are doing something to fix it.

I am learning to put my cellphone away.

It is difficult to leave it at home because you never know when you may need it, but simple stuff like putting it in a drawer, my purse or my car helps.

It is difficult to just stop using it so much at once, but it is important to fight the urge.

We must all pay attention to how much we use our cellphones and know whether or not it is worth the distraction.

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