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Distracted by Cell Phone Addiction: Technology Can Impair Communication

Updated on August 21, 2011

Do you own your cell phone? Or does your cell phone own you?

Think fast. Where is your cell phone? Is it within reach? Have you looked at it in the last 30 seconds? Has it become more like an extension of you than a device? Do you feel naked without it?

I realized my own dependence on my gadgets the other day when I accidentally dropped my smart phone while crossing a busy street. I turned around, saw it laying there and my husband quickly dashed back out into the street to retrieve it. Watching him in the middle of the intersection as the light changed I realized how important that phone had become. Was it really worth my husband’s life? No. It was a phone. It was replaceable. But our first instinct was to risk life and limb to save it.

My husband, thankfully, survived the incident. My phone, sadly, did not. It was clipped by a car and ruined forever. I mourned its loss for days. Even after replacing it with a blackberry, I remember it fondly. I loved that phone. It wasn’t something that I simply owned. It had slowly become something that owned me.

Most of us love the advantages the latest and greatest technology can bring us. Our gadgets have allowed us to have access to an abundant amount of information and resources that would have been unheard of in past decades. It’s easier to research and make reservations for a business trip or a family vacation. It’s also more convenient to stay connected and communicate long distance with colleagues and associates, as well as friends and family who live far away. It’s no wonder that these devices have become such an important part of our lives.

Technology, however, is a tool. When we own our gadgets, and keep them within appropriate boundaries they can help us live with ease and convenience. Unfortunately, those boundaries slip out of place and our gadgets begin to overwhelm us take over the control our lives. When that happens, our gadgets end up owning us.

When our gadgets begin to own us, they take over our time and our focus. Having access and being accessible to everyone we know and everyone we work with 24 hours a day means we are literally on call or at the beck and call of others. No longer do we leave our work at the office. It’s too easy to bring it with us and to allow it to interrupt our family time, our meals, and even our sleep. This type of technology can make life easier when we have a deadline to meet, are lost and in need of directions, or having car trouble along the interstate. But if used without boundaries, our gadgets can actually create a lot of stress in our lives and families.

What about you?

What is your opinion on cell phone addiction?

See results

Gadgets are great. Technology is useful. Having the latest and greatest device is fun. These tools however are meant to be used by us, not to use us. Keep your gadgets in perspective. Own them. Don’t let the gadgets own you. If you feel that your gadgets have taken over your life try these simple steps to take back the control:

  • Turn the phone off. Set aside a few hours for family time each day and turn the phone off so that you won’t be distracted by phone calls, texts, or e-mails. The messages will still be there when you turn it back on.
  • Set the example for your family. Constantly checking your phone during your conversations with your spouse or kids makes them feel unimportant. Put others first. The phone can wait.
  • Connect with other people in person. It’s too easy to send a text or write something on someone’s Facebook wall. Go see that person instead. Tell them “hello” or “I’ve been thinking about you” in person.
  • Unplug for a day. Consider taking one full day a month to be gadget free. It may feel awkward at first, but after a while, you may realize a completely freeing feeling. Use the day to go hiking or to hang out with your kids. Listen to the sounds of nature. Find yourself again.

Have you become a slave to your gadgets? Leave a comment and share how your life has been affected. Have you overcome an addiction to technology? Do you have boundaries in place that may be helpful? Please share those in the comments below.

If you know others who could benefit from this article, please feel free to share. And don’t forget to vote it up!


Submit a Comment

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    @subdomain... I wouldn't say you were old fashioned, but I'm sure a lot of young folks would argue with you. It's become so second nature to them that I don't think they realize how addicted they are... or how rude they are when constantly checking their phone or texting while talking to someone else. Thanks for reading and commenting! I appreciate your thoughts and encouragement!

  • subdomain profile image

    subdomain 6 years ago

    Some people, especially the youth can not live without cell phones these days. I find it highly asocial when the keep staring at their phones all the time. May be I am old fashioned.

    Great hub BTW.

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    It is amazing how quickly we get attached to something! Cell phones have become a natural part of life for many of us. I know that I feel naked when I accidentally leave mine behind - it's become such a part of me!

  • viking305 profile image

    L M Reid 7 years ago from Ireland

    This hub is so apt for all us cellphone/mobile phone users. I remember years ago when they first came on to the market. I did not want one. It took 3 years and a birthday for me to get one from my family.

    Now of course like everyone else I cannot imagine life without my mobile. I use the texting facility a lot which is relly handy and now that the company I use has given us 600 free texts a month online I use it more.

  • Faybe Bay profile image

    Faye Constantino 7 years ago from Florida

    Hi Lisa! This is so honest! I don't have a cell phone, but for five years I had a company phone on my hip. It was on 24/7 as I could be called from work at any time. I had people telling me to shut it off, etc. It was part of my life! I was there for them! When I got laid off in January, giving back that phone felt like cutting myself off from life. I still miss the calls from my boss, his voice saying "Okay, I need you to think back..." or "What're you doing, I need to tap your memory banks..."

    (sigh) Yes, that job was my life, and losing the phone was like the final good-bye. We e-mail and talk on the regular phone, even have lunch. When his cell phone rings, I still miss my phone. 5 years is a long time to have the same gadget!

  • kaltopsyd profile image

    kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

    Very good Hub! Everything you said is so true. I've actually sort of abandoned my phone for the past week. Yesterday I didn't even look at it and I paid for it today when I was stuck responding to millions of texts (I exaggerate). Again, great Hub!

  • Scribenet profile image

    Scribenet 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I love the internet and modern technology, I have a cell phone, it is always in my purse, turned off! Mostly used if I have a reason to make a call, rarely for just conversation.

    I figure, if I am going shopping I don't want to be distracted by conversation. Even at home I have call display. I don't always answer...I also have an answering machine. If it is important the caller will leave a message and I will check who has called and call back when I have the time. Saves talking to all those telemarketers!

    I just don't like to be constantly "on". I figure there is a privacy issue to consider. I enjoy talking as much as the next person, but I consider down time to be the time I am also "unavailable". It might come off sounding unsociable, but it isn't. I can still leave the internet at home since I don't own a "crackberry"...that could change things! Hopefully not. I find it humorous that some people just can't stop checking their messages like they just might have won a lottery! LOL.

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks for all the comments! We certainly do become attached to our cell phones. And yes, they have become quite a distraction!

    Wendy - That's incredible that you choose not to have a cell phone! I don't think I could handle that. I depend on mine way too much!

  • Wendy Krick profile image

    Wendy Krick 7 years ago from Maryland

    To answer your question, Do you own a cell phone? answer is NO. :) Most people are shocked when I tell them that, but I honestly haven't found a need for one yet. I'm sure I'll get one eventually but for right now I'm happy to use my home phone. If I'm not at home leave me a message. Awesome Hub!

  • Cagsil profile image

    Cagsil 7 years ago from USA or America

    Hey Lisa, a very nicely done hub. I voted it up and marked it as useful. I think a lot of people can benefit from reading. There are far too many people who are using their cellphones irresponsibly and very carelessly. It is causing way too many problems and endangering the lives of others, yet many do not realize it. Thank you for sharing your insight. :)

  • cathylynn99 profile image

    cathylynn99 7 years ago from northeastern US

    the article is too long, but the recommendations are great.

  • Pro Design Source profile image

    Pro Design Source 7 years ago

    I joined this smartphone movement about 6 months ago, and man can I tell you - I love it! I'm not a fanatic about checking it, but if I lose it I would be lost - literally. Google Maps navigation is the app I use most on mine.

  • LeanMan profile image

    Tony 7 years ago from At the Gemba

    You are so right, especially about our mobiles. Mine has family pictures, videos, as well as all of my contacts, if I lost it I would morn for ever...

  • K9keystrokes profile image

    India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

    Very glad your husband made it safely, what a good guy! Quite thought provoking that our phone owns us,...hmmmmm... my phone is within reach and I have checked it within the last 5 seconds....If my phone wishes to own me it's gonna have to get a tattoo of my face and buy one big diamond ring! ;`)

    I enjoyed your hub regarding technology. Thanks for the read Lisa.


  • Dobson profile image

    Dobson 7 years ago from Virginia

    A nice reminder about how we have allowed technology to permeate our lives. I am constantly reminded about "the leash" a cellular phone puts on us. Nice choice of topic.

  • Jane@CM profile image

    Jane@CM 7 years ago

    Last night we had "back to school night" at our son's high school. Each class was 15 minutes long, enough time for each teacher to go over curriculum, grading, etc. I couldn't believe how many people were texting, and talking on their phones while the teacher's were speaking. No wonder our kids do it! Great hub...I wish everyone would take your advice!

  • Pandoras Box profile image

    Pandoras Box 7 years ago from A Seemingly Chaotic World

    Great hub lisa! Well-written!

  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    "Crackberry"? That's awesome!! I'll start calling mine that! Thanks! I'm not anti-technology, by any means... I just want to keep it all in perspective. :)

  • miss_jkim profile image

    miss_jkim 7 years ago

    Great hub!

    I think we can all relate to this. I just recently joined the smart phone ranks and got a Blackberry. The sales lady at the cell phone store said, "Be careful, they don't call them "Crackberries" for nothing." I was a little confused, but after a few weeks I understood perfectly.