seven months

Seven months ago, my sister changed my passwords. I wanted my accounts inaccessible. My routine was consumed by phone time. I set my phone down and realized I wasn’t the only one. If one is the loneliest number, then that one is in a room full of people staring at their phones. 

People would say, “did you see so and so’s baby?” “did you see they got engaged?” “why won’t you add me on snapchat?” There were days when I felt like I was missing the entire life of my best friends because instead of telling me directly, they posted online. We lost interpersonal skills at the gain of carpal tunnel, a need for a ‘like’ and social anxiety. 

Putting down my phone gave me time back that I hadn’t realized I’d lost. I enjoyed things more, like family time, dinner conversations, alone time. I called friends or flew or drove to them. I grieved the end of a relationship in my own time. I read. I ran. I danced. I focused in on things better. I gained back my present moments. 

So I guess what I learned lies in these questions: If we set down our phones, will we change the energy in the room? Will others follow suite? Will we begin to create dopamine naturally versus relying on social media for that spike? What were our hobbies before we lost that time? Where have we grown complacent in our relationships? How do we create healthy boundaries between what we share online and what we call our friends about?

Laney Brentano