Face Time.


As I lay in bed scrolling through my Instagram feed, I look over at Melissa, who's also scrolling, alternating between her Snapchat and Instagram feeds. It's girls night, and in between the jokes and the stories, we're glued to our phones. That's always been a bad habit of mine, the constant glancing at my phone. Whether a nervous habit, something I do out of boredom, an addiction, or something I'm just used to due to working in social media, I find myself pushing the button at the top of my screen excessively, even if just to confirm that I have no notifications. 

It all started back in 2009. I had just discovered Twitter, and fascinated with it all, spent my entire Friday evening creating an account and following my favorite active celebrities. For hours I scrolled through Solange's Twitter account, Diddy's, Ashton Kutcher, and finally Cassie's. I went to the beginning of their feeds, getting the hang of what it was all about. The next morning, my friends and I headed to DC to celebrate a birthday, and I was face deep in my phone, excited to publish my first tweet. It came once we checked into our hotel, and then continued that night at the club. Ignoring the fact that I had zero followers and followed only celebrities, I live-tweeted my entire night out. I loved this little thing! I loved the fact that I could tweet my wildest thoughts in 140 characters or less and now had a mini diary of my experiences. Since that night in 2009, I kept my phone by my side, participating in the latest hashtags and tweeting with people across the globe who I actually consider my real life friends. In fact, I helped a long-time follower get a job with me at Girl Scouts (we're now the closest of friends with weekly girls' nights) and even visited a long-time follower during my cross-country road trip last summer. With my early love of social media, it's no surprise that years later I launched a career in it.

I say all of that to say that this phone obsession runs deep, and can't be reduced to the lack of interest in whoever's company I'm in. In fact, I love being around people and the energy they bring! Being on my phone is in no way a sign that I'm more interested in what's happening in cyberspace and not in front of me...or is it?

Derrick especially hates this habit. I find myself explaining why I'm glued to my phone during times we should be phoneless, giving excuses like "I'm updating my mom on our weekend," or "Michelle needs me to mail something to her so I'm getting her info." The truth is, though, that it can all wait. None of it is really ever urgent in comparison to the face time we should be spending together.

This past weekend, Derrick and I visited the restaurant he'd been itching to dine at since his first visit here. As we sat down and looked at the menu, I picked up my phone, glanced at it, and placed it beside me for easy access to the next obsessive compulsive phone check.

"I want us to have an evening with no phones, just talking. Let's put our phones away for the rest of the night."

"Okay, good idea," I said, wondering how I'd manage that for the next few hours. It was then that I knew it was a horrible, horrible habit.

An hour went by, and I didn't touch my phone. Then two hours passed, and I found myself enjoying people watching in Williamsburg with my love, not even wondering what the good folks on instagram or Snapchat or even in my text messages were up to. And that's how it should always be, right? 

I'll admit that it's hard, but it's something that I must do. I must disconnect, if just for a few hours, and spend one on one time with the family, friends, or loved ones I value the most. I must break the cycle that started back in 2009.

From now on, I'm vowing to spend less phone time, more face time. (Wish me luck!)


4 comments

  1. Great post Janna! I find that my phone only encourages my introvert tendencies. I am giving it up for a few days for this 3 day weekend. Thank you for confirming my choice xoxo

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  2. Great and insightful thoughts indeed.

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  3. I love this post. Unfortunately I check my phone wayyy too much trying to find updates on hot you day is going. SORRY! !!

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