Hi, my name is Jess and I have a secret. I’ve never told you this, but there’s a third entity in the JA’s and my marriage…
You may have seen this article titled, “Why I’m Getting a Divorce in 2014.” (Spoiler alert: it’s about his attachment to his phone.) For some people, they can easily ‘divorce’ their phones. However, being in the field of public relations lends itself to a certain marriage with one’s phone. You never know when a reporter’s going to call or respond to you with a last-minute photo request, when your client’s calling you with another idea, or when you get word that, yes, that placement you’ve worked so hard to secure will air/print at its desired time. Add in that I’m a blogger, and that relationship grows even stronger.
But for me, and many others, our relationship with our phones goes beyond that. My phone never leaves my side. When I get bored, it serves as a comfort. It’s a constant companion, waiting to entertain me. And my husband hates it.
Why? Well, he’s too much of a gentleman to tell me outright, but here’s why he hates my phone (and I do, too):
1. My phone slows me down. It’s true. I get sucked into the social media vortex and can spend hours doing nothing by reviewing Facebook, crafting Instagram posts, working on the blog, or cleaning out my inbox. He’s taken to giving me a 5-10 minute buffer for when he says we need to leave and when we ACTUALLY need to leave the house.
2. My phone is similar to Pavlov’s bell. When it pings, dings, rings, or even lights up, I go to it – no questions asked. It could be a bad comment on our company’s page that needs to be handled! It could be a tweet that needs to be immediately retweeted! It could be someone liking my cute puppy photo! (Ok, so I don’t have Facebook notifications for my personal page but if I did…we’d be in even more trouble than we are now.)
3. My phone is a third wheel. Sitting on the couch watching a movie used to be relaxing. Now, it can be a time for multi-tasking. So not romantic.
4. Really? Another picture? This is one of his biggest pet peeves – especially when it comes to food. He just wants to enjoy the moment or savor the first bite and I want to showcase it in its best light before diving in. You never know when you might want to recreate that recipe at home…right?
5. Warning: the contents of this phone may cause user to self-destruct. Some days, social media lifts me up and makes me feel like a rockstar. Other days, it contributes to my crankiness and discontent. Either way, it shouldn’t have that much power. I shouldn’t let it. But it does, and I do.
Admitting you have a problem is the first step. What am I going to do now? Well, I’ve started purposefully leaving my phone places. If I know we’ll be watching a movie in the den, I’ll turn it on silent and leave it in the kitchen. If we’re going out to dinner, I leave it in my purse (zipped in so I can’t see the notifications as they pop up.) I’m putting it on vibrate more often and trying to keep its use to a minimum when we’re together. These are baby steps, but they’re making a difference. I find myself more focused on him and others, bringing more quality content to our conversations, and enjoying the little things more and more.
Smartphones – love them or hate them?