Dependence Day

It’s 7 o’clock in the morning. I open my eyes, roll over to the left and try to localize where this noise is coming from. Of course, my smartphone, it’s time to get up. I grab it and spend a few minutes scrolling through content. My eyes are still not used to the artificial light that is illuminating the screen, so I lower the brightness.

Minutes are passing by until I realize I am already too late >>Damn<< I brush my teeth and put on some clothes. More minutes are passing by as I desperately try to untangle the cable of my headphones. Finally, I plug my headphones into my phone and head towards my bike. “Motivational Songs” – perfect playlist for a fast bike ride, thanks to some streaming platform.

Arriving at the university building, I have to check where my lectures are taking place. I open the university app to check my schedule and guide me to the right place. Just in time. Phone aside, laptop on the desk. Here we are again: Switching from smartphone to the synchronized notebook. As I prepare my notebook for the upcoming lesson, I start to realize that everything I did so far on this day was somehow related to the digital.

Could I even manage a single morning without being online? How did my parents find their way to class? How did they motivate themselves for a run or a bike ride without having the most fitting playlist available? Thousands of questions are popping up in my mind. Sometimes I wonder if I would be capable to survive a week without connection to the internet.

I would definetely consider myself an addict and I would say the same about most of my friends. Somewhere on the way of digitalization, we lost our independence and autonomy. We handed it over to a higher force. I wonder if there is a way back?

I guess the first step is to admit the addiction and realize in how many daily situations we rely on our phones and devices. Maps, contacts, appointments, bonuscards, tickets, photos: If I would lose my phone today, I would lose most of my important documents and social life with it. We need to find a way back to balance. A way in which we appreciate the technology that supports us in daily life but also a way in which we are still able to function as an analogue human being.

At the moment, we are actors and actresses in “dependence day” but we can break out. Make your own movie! Just ask yourself if you want to identify yourself by a mobile device or by the human being that is standing behind it. How many hours a day could you safe if you would live offline. How many times are you picking up your phone just to escape boredom?

But who am I telling that, as we both, you -the reader- and me -the author-, are sitting in front of our mobile devices right now…