A few years ago, even months ago, I spent several hours a day staring at my smartphone screen, scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google News feeds, etc. without really dealing with anything. I was addicted to this surface of pixels, a real extension of my ME, unable to take a look at my Huawei P9 Lite, then the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10. Then I changed both out of necessity and out of necessity and especially at will , that of liberation from an addiction that I personally characterize as the “scourge of the 21st century”.
- The laws of addiction
- The chains of habit
- The influence of alerts
- The trap of public transport
- An hour for everything
The laws of addiction
Let’s start by defining what addiction is, just to create a common ground, a ground on which my approach is based. According to the website drugs.gouv.fr, Addictions are pathologies of the brain defined by dependence on a substance or activitywith catastrophic consequences.
Okay, the outrageous use of smartphones is not recognized in 2022 as an addiction. For information, only gambling and gambling refer to substance-free addictions. However, these concentrations of technologies that we humans are so proud of and dependent on often outweigh all others.
- How many times have I watched a dinner with only the “blue” of the screens to exchange?
- How many times has my screen caught 100% of my attention for no good reason in the middle of a night out, having a drink at a bar?
- How many true memories passed under my nose, as obsessive as I was from a notice with no real interest?
According to a study by the DataReportal Institute conducted in 2021, ie after the Covid-19 pandemic, The average person, you and I, spends an average of 4 hours and 10 minutes on the phone a day. This represents 17.3% of the year. This same person clicks and scans 2,617 times a day (BankMyCell – 2021). It’s just shocking.
I saw myself in this data. It was when I came across these kinds of statistics that I had an epiphany. I was confronted with disturbing and disturbing facts. I had become, despite myself and over the years, addicted to my smartphone, to his presence, to his small daily and (very) regular stimuli. Consulting my Huawei P9 Lite and Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 was as natural at the time as breathing, drinking water; in short, you got me.
In 2022, there is a term for this smartphone addiction. The law phobia Where motility is a neologism that states the fear of someone leaving their cell phone for smartphone addicts. The mass was said!
The chains of habit
In order to defeat an enemy, you must know that enemy and before that you understand that he exists. Addiction is inherently harmful. It settles inside you slowly but steadily, one day after another, one gesture after another, one habit after another. To me, smartphone addiction is similar to a cigarette addiction, the cigarette, the coffin nail for the older ones among us.
It was not so difficult for me to break the chains that tied me to my phone. I “foolishly” applied a tried and tested method to quit smoking, provided I had an iron will. It has to do with saying “no” to yourself, refusing to take your smartphone after you liked it and repeating it over and over again … 10 consecutive times PER situation, PER frame.
- PS The number of “10” varies depending on the world.
This is a personal process, delicate in application, but that allows you to quickly detoxify. In return, this method requires uninterrupted self-sacrifice. Relaxing ONE time in a given situation forces you to start over for that situation. Personally, I have failed many times. I have warned you!
The influence of alerts
It is necessary to take into account the tendency of applications (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Tinder, Happn, Netflix, Disney +, YouTube, Gmail, etc.) to rejuvenate you, to pique a curiosity that gradually becomes a diseased area . I know. I had to check my phone with the slightest light on the screenunable to be patient.
The notification is the “correction 2.0” of the drug addict, the addict in social networks. What was originally a positive stimulus, a strange pleasure, had become over time an obligation, a constraint. I could not help but look, not answer, not interact as superficial as the notice was, as vain as the information conveyed. XXX has released a new video. XXX mentioned you in a message. XXXX NICE, yesterday I ate an apple!
Let us be fair. Alerts are helpful and sometimes necessary, but only in an emergency. I ended up preferring some apps, SMS (I was born in 1986), Messenger and WhatsApp to share with my favorites. I turned off notifications other than those related to direct exchanges. If I want to interact with social spheres, I have to start these applications. My interaction is active and conscious. I am no longer the game of my most primitive instincts. I tied it with chains and gagged the beast!
The trap of public transport
I will not hide it from you. I do not understand those who walk on the sidewalk looking at their smartphone… only to find their orientation. Aside from the danger they pose to others and themselves, this behavior overwhelms me, but it’s not what I care about. Let’s talk about public transport.
We are millions who cram together, like beasts, in the subway, the bus, the tram, the train, etc. a few tens of minutes, sometimes several hours a day. I look around regularly and I am surprised by the percentage of travelers who stare and relentlessly look at their phones. Spoiler warning! You will probably never find the answer to the big question about “life, the universe and everything”. (PS is “42”).
I was part of this caste of people scrolling to fight boredom and fatigue following the same line day by day. One thing impressed me then. I lost my time. I wasted hours doing nothing constructive. So I started watching series and anime and spending neither more nor less of my life (Monday to Friday) in front of a screen, between the computer, the smartphone and the TV. So I made a decision that some would consider drastic, but I personally felt it was necessary to continue detoxifying my screen.
I bought books and I made literature the main, then only activity in public transport. I’m not talking about readers (I have nothing against). I’m talking about books, the object “book”. This allowed me to rediscover the touch of a page of paper and explore universes that I had long neglected from the EGO of my former smartphone addict.
In 2 years, I have explored the limits of the universe with the Dune saga. I arrived at Extrême-Amont next to La Horde du Contrevent. I followed the magician Geralt of Rivia in his fantastic hunts. I watched the descent into hell and the artistic resurrection of William S. Burroughs at Le Festin Naked. In short, I traveled as far as possible, sitting as I was in row 3.
An hour for everything
There is time for everything. One year to surf social media, one year to watch an audiovisual program, one year to read, one time to entertain. I will not lie to you. I no longer understand those who watch a series, a movie, an anime on their phone screen. How to enjoy the scenery, the visual arts, the history in these conditions? with a screen whose surface slightly exceeds the palm of your hand? right in the middle of the others and the mute?
For me we touch heresy! I exaggerate, but you understand. I am not going to dwell a second time on the power of literature that goes hand in hand with that of the imagination, I will let you (rediscover) all of this in time. I prefer to dwell now on another disaster… smartphone in front of a movie. I know this very well, because I was one of those people who watch without watching (except for the cinema). The feature film served as background noise. I was focusing my attention elsewhere.
It is difficult to call yourself a cinephile when you do not even respect the works you watch. Regardless of the format, the medium, it is good to spend time on a movie, a series, an anime, a video game, a comic without spreading much, otherwise you will lose it completely. Man, first me, is not really multitasking. He diverts his attention to finally focus on one activity.
So I decided to put my phone in another room (my room in this case) and to consult it only at the end of an episode, a movie, then I applied this logic to the rest of my life in my apartment. During the holidays, my smartphone works as a GPS, jukebox, camera and stays in my bag the rest of the time. You do not need to share your life to live it, this is my mantra in 2022.
I trust my conclusion to William S. Burroughs, the American Beat Generation writer mentioned above, who better than anyone else fought and succumbed to his addictions throughout his life. From this controversy was born a timeless work… Le Festin Nu. Here is an excerpt:
Orgasm plays no role in the addict’s life. Boredom, which inevitably implies relief from tension, never touches it. He can look at his shoe for eight hours and continue the activity only when the camera hourglass is empty. – William S. Burroughs (The Naked Lunch – 1959)