What if something was so addictive that millions of people used it for hours every day and became unaware of what was going on around them when using it? What if they got so nervous or anxious without it they couldn’t function properly? Would people protest? Would we call for the government to treat those caught in its grip for this addiction or get rid of this addictive thing?
It’s not a drug in the conventional sense, but the attachment to and reliance on smartphones and social media has reached epic proportions; it’s changing the way we relate to each other. You don’t think it’s an addiction? Then we challenge you to spend a few days without it. No texting, no emails, no Facebook or Facetime, no Instagram, no TikTok, no gaming. No iPods or tablets. Nada, zero, zilch.
We’ve seen it over and over again: People are actually jittery the first day after leaving their technology behind to hike through Yosemite or some other glorious forestland. By the second day, most people’s smiles begin to turn to grins. There’s something energizing and spiritually renewing you get from communing with nature and friends that you don’t get communing with your smartphone.
Of course technology has its place. It’s convenient and useful and can be used to transmit vital information. But it shouldn’t be a substitute for human contact. It can’t share a meaningful look or a comforting touch. You will rarely find yourself awed by something on social media the way you’ll be awed in the wilderness.
When you’re in your last days, will your fondest memories be checking on Facebook or perusing through your weather app, or will they involve interacting with friends and family, maybe viewing the Milky Way while relaxing by a toasty campfire after an invigorating hike? How many days, weeks, months, years do you have left? Do you really want to spend them shutting out people around you while you check your phone?