phone addiction

Our iPhones Are Toxic Vacuums And It's Time To Pull The Plug

Live less virtually and more productively.

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Like most people growing up in the 21st century, I am glued to my phone. Even after I typed that first sentence, I checked my phone and texted one of my friends back. The phone addiction is incredibly unhealthy but has become so common across society that it is strange to find people who don't check their phones multiple times an hour. Sometimes, I reflect on just how much time I waste scrolling through my feeds with all the same posts or carrying on with meaningless Snapchats back and forth and I am disappointed in myself. It even became so bad that I had to hide the "Screen Time" widget on my iPhone because the numerical reports of how many hours I spent daily on my phone bothered me. If this sounds anything like you, it's time we delve further into the topic and realize how much time and energy we're wasting on Instagram, per se, and vow to be more productive with our lives.

The first problem is merely that our phones are always on us. If there is never a time where your phone is completely removed from your environment, this is going to be a losing battle. I know that for me, if my phone is placed right next to me, or even in the same room, I'm going to sit there convincing myself that there is a reason to check it until I finally do. And, it rarely ends up being a quick check. It starts by opening one text message, then suddenly, I'm on my Instagram feed that I checked 7 minutes ago, and then I see a Snapchat that I obviously have to check right then and there or the world will end. Right?

Personally, it's a very out of sight, out of mind concept. The reason we're checking notifications so regularly is that the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out) effect kicks into full gear when we see messages but aren't engaging with them. We think that if we don't open the message or read the post immediately, we're going to miss an opportunity, most likely a social one, that will no longer be available to us when we come around to our phones later on.

This isn't a completely invalid "fear" to have. Some plans are made on the fly and if you don't respond rather quickly, you will miss out on the opportunity. Also, I'd like to make it clear that I believe phone messages can be time sensitive and incredibly important. But, considering the nature of what phones have become to this generation, which is a constant source of entertainment and distraction, it's probable that a large portion of phone time could be, and should be, invested into more important and productive daily activities. These alternative activities don't necessarily have to be working or studying, for example. They could be having a conversation with a friend in person rather than aimlessly snapchatting back and forth from both your dorm rooms. Or, even taking a 30-minute walk without your phone in your pocket. This can be very transformative.

Once we physically remove ourselves from the environment that our phones are in and are unaware of what is occurring on screen, it's harder for our worries of "missing out" to take over because what we could be "missing out" on isn't visually apparent to us. This feeling is not immediate — the first few minutes away from a phone can be accompanied with feelings of stress and wonder about what is going on in the virtual world. Eventually, though, those feelings simmer and phone-less time can be really peaceful and cleansing.

Another component of this problem is the effects of social media on people nowadays. It's pretty much implied that, at least for the kids of our generation, if you have a phone, you are on at least one social media site. Social media is like a vacuum — it's going suck everyone and everything in until the plug is pulled. Social media has been scientifically proven to have harmful effects on the mental health, confidence, and focus of a person. And the crazy part is most of what is on social media isn't reflective of real life. According to social media, most people's lives are perfect and no one has ever had a bad hair day. False.

Since many posts aren't depicting true human experiences or emotions, rather they're just a display of the best of those two components, why is it taking over so much of our mental space? Why are we giving it the power to let us feel down on ourselves, to compare ourselves, and convincing ourselves that we need to work equally as hard to post similarly and perhaps artificially? This should not be the case. It is in our power as users to stop holding such authority to social media.

If there is anything this message should convince you to do, it's to divorce yourself from your phone every once in a while for a little bit, at least. Take it from the person who began this article explaining how I am glued to my phone. Some of the best times I can recount from the past few months have been when I've been away from my phone enjoying real life experiences. I've been all-around happier and more productive, and you will be, too. Spend less time living in your phone and more time without it. We are the ones who can pull the plug on the iPhone vacuums that consume our daily lives.

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When God Gives A Girl A Brother

He gives her a best friend.
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My brother is only 18 months younger than I am, but he's also at least a foot taller than me. Growing up with someone so close to my age has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Yes, there was a time when I thought every single little thing he did was annoying and his feelings towards me were mutual. Yes, we still get into arguments and disagreements. But for the most part, we enjoy each others company. When God gives a girl a brother, He gives her...

1. A listener

I always have someone to talk to. No matter what, when, or where. Some of my favorite moments are spent chatting my brother's ears off while he absent-mindedly nods and continues to play x-box. Sometimes he just listens and doesn't say anything. Sometimes he gives me long replies. He always knows just how to react to what I am saying to him, which is why I tell him almost everything.

2. A protector

When I think about the man that my brother has become, it seriously brings tears to my eyes. He's so big!! How did this happen? I can remember when I was little and could boss him around and he would actually do whatever I said. Now I'm scared that if he hugs me too hard, I might break in half. My brother cares about me, and lets me know it. I'm so thankful to know that he is there for me no matter what and would do anything to keep me from harm.

3. A dance partner

Another favorite memory is dancing to Juju on that beat in the kitchen while mom is cooking dinner (or dancing with us). Or any other time any other song is on... in any other place... LOL. My brother and I are different in a lot of ways, but we both have no problem busting a move together.

4. A Sonic date

"Hey, wanna go get a sonic drink?" "Yeah, if you're buying!" This is a typical conversation for us, and he actually really does usually buy my food! (With mom's credit card sometimes, does that still count?)

5. An example

Being the older sister, I sometimes feel like I have let my brother down in a lot of ways in that he is probably an example to me more than I am to him. He is incredibly smart, talented, and hard working. Kids FLOCK to this guy, and he has the most creative mind ever. Seriously, I'm so nervous that my future kids are going to like their funny uncle more than me. He's way cooler than I am, and I want to be just like him when I grow up.

6. Comic relief

If you've never heard a "Lane Prevett story," pull up a chair. I will be glad to make you cry from laughing so hard. There's no way you can spend time with him and not laugh. And that, to me, is the best kind of person to be.

7. A best friend

My brother is a lot of things, but my favorite thing about him is that he is my best friend. Yes, we aggravate each other. Sometimes he plays his music too loud, and sometimes I take up all the internet so that he can't play video games. But I know that he would do anything for me, and he knows the same goes for him.

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Sorry, Bella Thorne, But Whoopi Goldberg Has A Point

Nude photos leaked, a scandal on the rise

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It all started with nude photos. Bella Thorne decided to release photos of herself naked after revealing that someone had hacked her things and was threatening to post them. She took it upon herself and said "It's MY DECISION NOW U DON'T GET TO TAKE YET ANOTHER THING FROM ME. I can sleep tonight better, knowing that I took my power back."

Let me make this clear from the very beginning. Bella has taken private, nude photos of herself for a reason we don't know (Probably to send to her boyfriend). She then gets hacked and threatened but decides to show photos anyway of herself naked to show that she has control over the hacker. Phew, I'm already not understand this choice.

Many celebrities and other women have praised her decision to do so, but I'm not one of them, and neither is Whoopi Goldberg from The View. While talking about the situation on the show, she was quoted saying, "Listen, if you're famous, I don't care how old you are, you don't take nude pictures of yourself. When they're hacking you, they're hacking all of your stuff. So, whether it's one picture or a million pictures, once you take that picture, it goes into the cloud, and it's available to any hacker who wants it. If you don't know that in 2019, that this is an issue ... you don't get to do that."

Now correct me if I'm wrong but isn't she making a valid point? Technology now has the ability to do whatever it wants, and hackers can get a hold of anything and everything. Whatever photos you take and send through text or even Snapchat can and will be saved to phones or shared among other people. How many celebrities getting texts, photos, or even calls leaked to the media?

In response to Whoopi, Bella is stating that she should be ashamed of her views, that she is putting the blame on girls for taking photos and is sick and disgusting. Can I make this clear again, she is not shaming you! She is simply saying that people (Not just girls, guys as well) should be smarter with what photos they take, who they send them to and know where they could possibly end up. It's not shaming; it's not a lie; it is the exact truth.

In one of her quotes, Bella says, "So what a girl can't send her boyfriend that she misses photos of her that are sexy? Things he's already seen?". I'm sorry, but I find this sentence very problematic. No one is saying that you can't be sexy for your boyfriend, just be smart about it. Sure, he's seen you naked, sure you've had sex, but the rest of the world hasn't. Just because one person gets the right to see it doesn't mean everyone else does as well. Hackers are out there, they are real, and they are real for celebrities and Hollywood.

Now yet again, Bella is twisting this story into something that it isn't. Now in videos that she has made explaining her view, she suggests that Whoopi is victim-blaming and would say the same thing to someone who survived sexual assault. On Instagram, she said, "So, if I go out to a party drinking and I wanna dance on the dance floor, do I deserve to be raped too?". Now I'm sorry yet again, don't start going on a parade by throwing this into the mix.

You got hacked and someone was going to leak naked photos of you. You decide to leak them yourself because you are not letting a man control your life. Then you compared it to drinking at a party, wanting to dance and asking if you deserved to be raped by doing that? Okay, how are these two even being compared? I'm not going to get too into this but think about it. Taking private photos are risky now with hackers, anyone can get into it without a problem. It's 2019, this has been going on for years. You say a man can't control your life so you release them anyway. A woman being raped at a party where she has no control is different. You chose to take pictures with the risk of them being leaked. A woman does not chose to be raped just because she is dancing at a party. Sorry, there's a difference.

Sorry Bella Thorne, but Whoopi Goldberg is not shaming you, she is not victim blaming. She is simply saying the truth.

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