Turn off your phone, start living life

It seems as though one thing has been prominent on my Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram feed lately. No, it’s not any of the latest news. It’s Flappy Bird.

Flappy Bird is an iPhone and Android game where the user taps the screen to make a bird with tiny wings fly between tubes. Flappy Bird is being hyped right now, much like Candy Crush was about three months ago.

Sure, Candy Crush and Flappy Bird are fun but the hype surrounding these games highlight a big problem — Americans are addicted to their phones and it’s apparent in every aspect of our lives.

We are constantly using social networks, playing games, texting and checking email. Without our phones, we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves.

I am just as guilty as the next person.

I check my social networks more times than I can count every day. I’m always texting, snapchatting, taking a picture.

It’s something that has become too natural and no one seems to recognize the effects that it is having on society.

Deep down, we all know that we could make it without our phones but none of us want to accept it. I will admit that mine is definitely my best friend and quite possibly my life.

At this point, you’re probably thinking I have issues but I guarantee that you, my friend, are the exact same way.

According to Time’s Mobility Poll conducted in 2013, 29 percent of people in the U.S. said their phone is the first and last thing they look at every day with 68 percent admitting their phones are next to their bed when they sleep.

The poll shows that 38 percent check their phone a few times a day.

Of those polled, 34 percent said they could only go a few hours without their phones and 84 percent said they couldn’t go a single day without their phones.

Life doesn’t stop just because we are engrossed in the latest game.

You can miss so many memories, experiences and moments by caring more about what is on your screen than about what is right in front of you.

Observe when you use your phone and what apps you use the most. Then, try setting aside time each day where your phone is turned off or is out of reach.

Try to increase the amount of time you do this each day. Delete apps that seem to be taking up your valuable time or that you check more often than you should.

Next time you are tempted to spend time on your phone, consider what you could spend time doing instead.

To contact Lauren Daniel, email editor@occc.edu.

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