6 Signs That Smartphones Have Taken Over Your Life

by Karen Johnson
Originally Published: 

Remember the ’90s? Man, those were simple times. You were forced to get up and walk to the computer lab to access the Internet. If you were one of the few who owned a computer, you probably emailed using a desktop or maybe a clunky laptop with a very loud fan, so you didn’t take it to Starbucks too often. Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest were just seedlings in the womb of what would be termed “social media.” But today, in 2015? Life is rough. You carry your computer around with you every second you’re awake. It is about 4-by-2 inches in size. You call it a phone. And it is ruining your life. Here are six signs that your smartphone addiction has taken control of your mind (and likely the minds of your children):

1. You forgot your phone when you went into the bathroom. Now you are looking around the room, confused, from your post on the toilet. What does one do in here with these three minutes? How on earth will you pass this time? Thoughts run wild: I need to repaint these walls. When did I clean in here last? Is that a poop print on the floor? (See? These are unsettling realizations you are having, as a result of not having a phone distraction. You must have your phone in your possession every minute of your life to avoid such un-pleasantries.)

2. While sitting in traffic, you have been trying to update your Facebook status with something hilarious for seven minutes, but you keep hitting green lights. Damn safety rules! What if you forget this incredibly profound sentiment? It even included a pun! Yes! Finally a red light. After posting your completely original Facebook thought, you start to scroll down. Ha! Buzzfeed just posted more “You Had One Job” pics. By No. 6, you are laughing hysterically and the truck driver behind you lays on his horn. You look up and notice the light is yellow. Buzzfeed caused you to miss the entire green light. You gun it and fly through the intersection. The trucker doesn’t make it and flips you off.

3. You have more than one (more like four to five) parenting fails under your belt due to phone distractions. At the park, a 2-year-old wanders off and a 4-year-old climbs onto the roof of the playground house while you are tweeting. Parents start calling, “Whose kids are these?” You finally look up from your phone and realize they are yours. At the ER last week, as your son was getting his chin stitched up, the doctor asked you what had happened. You weren’t sure how he split his face open, but you could share the fab crockpot recipe you scored on Pinterest when it happened.

4. While waiting for your older child to get a haircut, the Wi-Fi suddenly goes out on your phone and the Thomas the Train app doesn’t work. You and your 2-year-old stare at each other, blinking in shock and confusion. What now? Does this mean you will have to entertain him without the use of an electronic device? What the hell does that even look like?

5. When Daddy calls from an out-of-town work trip, FaceTime bails (as it does 32 percent of the time). The kids scoff in irritation, “Does this mean we just talk to Daddy? Like, not see him?!” They stare at the phone in bewilderment and don’t know how to hold it up to their ears for mere verbal communication.

6. You are no longer able to answer an intellectual question about anything in the entire world. You have not had to think since you began tethering your smartphone to your body, so your brain is atrophied to nothingness. If someone asks your opinion on next year’s presidential candidates, you need Siri to tell you who they are.

Ahhh, the ’90s were great. Man, you had it made with AOL and sending one to two emails a day. And your brain still functioned. I would give anything to live in such simpler times. Except my phone.

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