05 Sep What’s in Control, You or Your Phone?
We know more people around the world have cell
phones than have ever had landlines. There are almost as
many cell phones in operation as there are people on the
earth. It’s an epidemic.
How is this affecting us individually and in our
relationships? You may not have the answer, but you can
certainly understand the question.
Considering that more people have cell phones in our
world than have flushing toilets, (yowsa!), the prospect of its
effects is scary. Is this a silent disaster lurking to disconnect
our world even amid the most rapid technological
connection ever? Are we connected in ways that are ruining
our relationships, health, and finances? We are currently the
most obese and addicted society in history. Is our disconnect
a contributor to this unfortunate statistic?
Consider your own life as an example. What is the first
thing you pick up when you awake in the morning? A large
part of the world’s population would say their smartphone,
iPad, computer, or TV remote. For many, their device is
the last thing they look at before going to sleep and the first
thing they look at when they wake up.
For twenty-five years, I have studied human behavior
and heard hundreds, if not thousands, of stories about
the disconnect people feel. I’ve seen it firsthand from my
colleagues, professors, and clients and even in my own
personal life. I’ve discovered that we have many ways of
disconnecting from ourselves and our loved ones; some we
are conscious of, and some we are not.
There are helpful ways to connect—
ways to bridge the divide that affects each of us relationally
To do this we each have to become aware of the ways we are disconnected and be cognizant of the role our
digital devices play in each of our lives. Do they control us or are we in control of them. We check out
phones over 150 times each day on average and we spend 10 hours each day in front of screens. This is
more than 2/3 of our day. Is this why we are struggling with anxiety and focus?
We can change and disrupt our unhealthy tech habits and take action to enjoy connection and happiness in