On this ever-changing quest of mine to achieve not only physical sobriety but also emotional sobriety, I am forced to look at the decisions I make on a day to day basis. One area which I have been avoiding is my relationship with my phone. It sounds weird, right?
But let’s face it, in this technological world, most of us can relate. I heard a podcast recently where the host was discussing the effects of social media and the amount of time teenagers spend online. It was 5-7 hours per DAY! I was shocked at first, but then I took a hard look at my own usage. If I am honest, I spend the same amount of time online, and I don’t even have snapchat!
So I asked myself what am I doing on my phone all day. It ranged from playing candy crush to Instagram to Facebook to Twitter. I told myself since I was not a daily poster on these sites, that I wasn’t really addicted. But when I switched the conversation in my mind to “Well then, delete the apps,” I started to feel a little panicky. Further introspection told me that the time I am spending engaged inmindless scrolling isn’t that much different than the teenagers I was judging. I am no different.
So what do I do? For me, it isn’t as simple as just deleting the app and walking away. I asked myself, “What purpose is being online or playing games serving me?” The knee jerk answer was nothing. But the honest cleanup is that in most cases I was liking someone else’s post, or I was making a comment to build them up. None of these is inherently wrong, but my motivation is. I am engaging in these behaviors to look good. I am doing it for a reaction. “Oh, that was so sweet of you to say.” or “You are so nice!” I wasn’t doing it because I genuinely cared or because I felt that my comments were necessarily authentic. I was doing so for a reaction. Some of that reaction was occurring in my own mind. It was my way of telling myself that I am a kind person. And I am kind, but I need to find myself doing kinds things in real time not on someone’s feed.
Being codependent means I look for other people’s approval. I do things for others because I want them to like me. I want to look “good.” The reality is that other people’s opinions really cannot be swayed for any real lasting longevity based upon whether I like their post or make a nice comment. And really, whether people like me or not is none of my business. I have to like me. I have to feel good about the choices and decisions I am making in my life because they serve me and they serve a higher purpose.
So I have made a decision to go out on a limb and to delete the apps. I have decided to be more purposeful in my day which involves spending present real time with my family and not sitting next to them on the couch scrolling acting as if I am. Is this scary? Yes, yes it is. But just like my program of recovery I can do this one day at a time.