When You Find Yourself Constantly Checking Your Phone

09 March, 2017

When I'm alone or unoccupied at any moment in public, I always have an urge to use my phone.

I feel a constant need to make myself look busy and important in public, and it seems like everyone around me does the same thing. It's unrealistic to expect everyone to start a conversation with strangers and I don't know what people did when they were bored before cell phones became so popular. As a millennial it feels like there is a lot of pressure to be social media savvy and be popular online. In public, the car, or the grocery store I need my phone in my hand and I need my ringtone up loud so everyone knows when I get a call. I have to check my notifications rights away, or at least pretend to, so that people know that although I'm alone in that moment, someone, somewhere cares about me.


I don't know where this pressure began or how it started, but it feels never ending. I don't mean to put down people who use the internet a lot (heaven knows I do), but do I have to use it all the time? Can I take a moment to breath and gather myself, before having to put on a face and pretend to be busy? I'm trying hard to change this and not let it bother me so much. I stand in a public setting without looking down at my phone, and I feel a bit more free, like I have an advantage.

When I'm in public now I've created a habit of doing two things: reading and people watching.

  1. You would not believe how much fun it is to look at people (in the least creepy way possible). Everyone is so incredibly different and I feel like our personalities are highlighted in public. 
  2. Between errands or classes is the best time to read and it's not something you have to schedule and is always a productive use of your time.
Instead of checking my phone for texts I know I don't have, and pretending to be someone I'm not, I stand in the moment and am exactly who I am. I'm a person doing a normal thing in my life and I shouldn't have to pretend like I'm awaiting a call or in the midst of an important conversation. I shouldn't have to act like I'm busy all the time and feel embarrassed for being a person waiting to get my Starbucks.

Do other people feel like they are under constant pressure to seem busy? To seem like they are getting likes on a picture, or a text message from friends, or reading a very important article on their phone? Are they as addicted as I am? Can I stand in a hallway, or isle, or sidewalk, and not feel like I need my phone in my hand to be valid?

You can choose to spend your time anyway that you like, just don't spend it how you think other people think you should.


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