The Huffington Post asked some of its staff to see if they could do without their phone whilst watching television in the evening. It wasn’t easy for some of them.
Connor Parker, an intern, concluded:
I might have managed a few hours without my phone – but it was so unenjoyable that doing so affected my whole viewing experience.
Ashley Percival, the Entertainment Editor concluded:
Abandoning it for those big ‘event TV’ moments would also be hard. For me, the thought of watching something like ‘Strictly’ or ‘Love Island’ without commentary from Twitter is unthinkable - it adds so much value and enjoyment in a way we couldn’t have anticipated 10 years ago.
Not everyone completely hated it. Sophie Gallagher, a reporter, concluded:
The unexpected benefit of this is that by the end I actually feel like I’m winding down for bed rather than gearing up for a Twitter debate. This alone is good enough reason to try this again (despite my initial frustrations).
Am I the only person who’s worried about this?
I think the title of my article is probably a misnomer. The phone is just a tool and it’s the social media on the other end of it that people are addicted to.
But it’s completely inconceivable to me that a phone and the social media it connects to would be so addictive, and an addiction it clearly is. I struggle to remember to take a phone out with me and I only notice it in the house if it rings. You could take my phone away for a month and I’d barely notice.
I see this inability to concentrate on one thing as a serious problem. Life must just be a series of distractions for some people.
I suppose I should consider all sides here. Maybe this is just what society is now. When televisions themselves were invented, I'm sure a lot of people thought they were the distractions and couldn’t understand why people struggle to get through an evening without staring at an electric box in the corner of the room.
I can’t help thinking the addiction to phones and social media robs us of some things, though: our ability to simply concentrate on one thing and to live in the moment.