I didn’t know I had left my i-phone at my friends house until I got home late at night. When I realized I had left it behind I felt a little lost and anxious without it. What if somebody wanted to call me, or text me? What about my messages, my calendar, my notes and all those apps that keep me functioning? What would I do without my music? How would I keep up with my 16 Words With Friends games? Would the Angry Birds be OK without me? Would I be OK without the dings alerting me of e-mails and Facebook messages?
I was also worried about my phone. Would my friend keep it safe? Would she charge it for me? We had never been apart for more than a few minutes before this time. Somewhere along the line my i-phone had become an extension of me, like an extra body part. I wondered would I be OK until we were reunited?
Before I carried a cell phone my husband wanted me to have one but I resisted. I told him,”I don’t need to be talking on the phone when I’m walking down the street. Walking down the street in Manhattan is enough stimulation for me.” We had three landlines in our house, an answering machine and call waiting. I thought that I was connected enough and then everything changed.
On September 11, 2001 my family was all over Manhattan and two of us were only a few blocks from the World Trade Center. We spent hours not knowing where our family members were and if they were OK. Soon after that horrible day we each had a cell phone and we checked in with each other all the time.
I started out with a little flip phone that didn’t do much except keep me in touch with my friends and family but when I upgraded to my i-phone it became part of my life. I started using it for all kinds of things and I have no doubt it’s an amazing tool but it’s also a major distraction.
When I got my i-phone back the next day I had discovered that being unplugged for twenty-four hours was quite pleasant, I took a mini vacation from technology and I felt more focused and relaxed. I’ve been experimenting with keeping it turned off more often and so far, I like it.
Kathy Sussell is an ADHD coach in Brooklyn, NY. She helps teens, college students and adults with ADHD with time management, planning and prioritizing, getting started with and finishing tasks, organizing paper and objects and improving social skills. She is the organizer of the ADHD Women’s Meetup Group that meets every month in downtown Brooklyn. For more information visit her website: www.bravolifecoaching.com or email Kathy at email@example.com