No Cell-f Control

Hannah Maxwell

I crafted a dream schedule this school year. Two aide periods, one online lab, and an English class gives me the freedom to write what I want. I thought I had carved out four hours, five days a week, for scholarships. Instead I have become a pro at many thoughtless games and I check social media fives times more than I used to. Decent plan, poor execution.
In an attempt to take back some of that lost time, I deleted all games and social media, excluding Twitter, from my phone. The sad thing is, I still find myself unlocking my phone just as many times a day. Instead of scrolling through posts I’d already seen, I stare blankly trying the think of the reason I opened it in the first place. Initially I thought I was having withdrawals, but then I realized something way worse, constantly being on my phone had become a habit.
It would be an easy habit to break if I had a better understanding of what caused my internal need to have my phone in hand at all hours. Even when I’m at my own house I rarely set it down. I get anxious if I can’t feel its weight in my pocket.
Because I have made being on my phone essential to my existence, I have trouble focusing on things for more than a couple minutes since my mind is constantly thinking about my stupid phone. I’ve tried to make reading a habit and it’s been a lot harder than I thought it would be. I get distracted at the slightest things and end up scanning the pages without soaking in the information. Someone else’s phone dinging or the phantom vibration in my pocket instantly takes my attention away from what I’m trying to accomplish. I am no longer in control of myself, it feels like part of my mind is on a social media leash perfected by the neurologists employed by Facebook et al.
Not once in four years of high school have I forgot my phone at home, not one single day. The scariest thing is that I’m aware of the problem, but haven’t done anything to find a solution until now. I got my first B in Chem 2 and thinking back I don’t think I ever gave Powell my undivided attention. I’m proud of my 3.93 GPA but I can’t help wondering if my addiction to my phone is the reason I let that other tenth of a point slip away. In the long run it hasn’t made a difference, but it’s the principle of it. My lack of prioritization was my demise. I let my phone take over, I watched it reach for the controls and did nothing to stop it.
I want to believe I won’t accept this fate. That I will fight back and not let myself be controlled by an inanimate object. That by admitting I have a problem I can start taking steps toward a permanent solution. I will turn off my phone an hour before I go to bed and I will put my phone on airplane mode during class.
Well, that’s the plan anyway.


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