Like everyone else, I’m way too addicted to my phone. I try to stay away from it, but it’s a lost cause. I have it by my side at all times, even when it’s charging. I don’t check it when I’m out on a date or with friends, but you better believe I’m on it as soon as I go to the bathroom or leave wherever we are. It’s a problem and I am pretty ashamed of it. That’s not who I want to be. It’s not who I used to be.
I actually resisted getting a smartphone for a long time because I was afraid I’d become addicted. I hated the idea of being at everyone’s beck and call all the time, but eventually it became necessary for professional purposes. Still, I stayed off all the social media apps for a long time … until I didn’t. Now I’m just as engrossed as everyone else.
One of the things I love best about going into the mountains is the fact that I’m forced to leave my phone behind. It doesn’t work there and it doesn’t do me any good. When I’m backpacking, I have to be completely present in the world around me. I’m with a bunch of people who aren’t on their phones either, so we are able to forge strong personal connections quickly. It’s lovely and it feels special in this crazy technology-obsessed world we live in.
I was just out in the back country for eight days and upon returning I didn’t even want to turn my phone on. I wanted to preserve that authentic feeling of being alive in the moment as long as I possibly could. I had no desire to get back to the demands and stress of our chaotic society. I just longed to disappear back into the beauty of nature, where I could have meaningful conversations face-to-face with actual humans.
It’s sad that it’s become such a rarity to form direct connections with people. I’ve found that being in environments where we are all forced to part with our technological crutches is often the only way to do so these days. I think that’s part of the reason I love exploring nature so much. Not only does it reunite me with who I am as a person, it helps me connect vibrantly and deeply with other people. It’s a priceless benefit that has led to strong, lasting friendships with quality human beings.
I’ll take that over mindless phone scanning any day.