September 25, 2020

By CODY STEEVES

When did it become so hard to disconnect? To shut down your electronics and just worry about what is happening around you. These days it seems that everyone is using their cellphones when they shouldn’t be, including me.

My most recent personal experience was my dad’s 50th birthday party. I was social, enjoying beverages and food and congratulating him on surviving this long.

However, throughout the night my phone would start vibrating and I would quietly have to excuse myself to answer the call, email or text. I had to do this due to the fact that they would almost definitely be work-related, despite telling everyone earlier I shouldn’t be contacted unless they absolutely needed me. It left me with two options, shut down my phone completely or continue to answer my phone throughout the night. I knew I should have left it on in case someone actually desperately needed to get a hold of me, but I decided to turn off the power and enjoy the events around me.

Not everyone will willingly disconnect themselves so easily and it is starting to get harder to. Statistics Canada released a survey indicating that 78 per cent of Canadian households now have a cellphone in use by one member of the family. These numbers are staggering but almost expected with how technology has been growing these past years. But what has made it so hard to just put these phones away?

Convenience and a generation of worry has led us to accepting cellphones as part of our lifestyles. Constantly worrying if the babysitter has had any problems while watching your kids or if your boss has received your latest project creates a chain between our cellphones and our hands, in which we feel the need to check the status of our lives that are outside of our immediate control. This leads to it being a major convenience as well, with how far technology has evolved, your work is just a few swipes or taps away.

So how does one escape the desire to constantly be checking that device? It is rather simple actually.

The most convenient means is to turn it off. If you are still worried about whether something may happen leave a number to contact you in case of emergencies that isn’t your cell or vice-versa, have their number on hand and make a brief call at some point during the night. After all, the events occurring around you are as important as the events you may not have control over.

Put your phone down and enjoy the company around you first.

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