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Would You Put Down Your Phone For A Discount At A Restaurant?

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Our smartphones are an inseparable part of our existence. From work and entertainment to buying groceries, booking a cab and even getting reminders to drink water, we are dependent on these gadgets for almost everything. However, there is a line beyond which necessity crosses over into obsession and then eventually addiction. While many people may deny being smartphone addicts, can one confidently say that we are not even mildly obsessed with them? How easy is it for you to not look at your phone, for say two hours at a stretch? Can you go through a full three-course meal at a restaurant without having a peek at your phone?

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Can you go through a three-course meal without taking a peek at your smartphone?
  • While it may sound easy, shutting out our smartphones is difficult.
  • We are dependent on our phones for everything from connecting with others, entertainment, to even booking a cab.
  • But this constant access and usage comes with a price.

While many people may deny being smartphone addicts, can one confidently say that we are not even mildly obsessed with them? How easy is it for you to not look at your phone, for say two hours at a stretch?

A recent tweet that revealed how a restaurant was offering a ten percent discount to those who didn’t use their phone while on the table made me realise how difficult this task was then it actually sounded. “Heard about a restaurant which gives 10 percent discount to people who don’t use their phones while on the table. The only people not delighted about this are the kids,” read the tweet. But not just kids, there are many adults, I am sure, who will struggle with this challenge, even when there is an incentive in place.

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A recent survey found out that on an average, Indians spend one-third of their waking hours on phone, which amounted to 1800 hours in a year. What’s more, one out of every three participants admitted that they couldn’t have even a five-minute conversation with friends and family without checking their phones. The data alarmingly doesn’t seem outlandish. We know it hits close to the reality that we all face in our everyday lives. Our phone is how we stay connected. We would rather chat or speak on the phone with our relatives and friends than do it in person. We need our phones at work, to check mail, for networking and almost any other kind of interaction that is conceivable today. And when it is not interaction, it is entertainment. There’s so much content to consume and so little time at hand.

A recent survey found out that on average, Indians spend one-third of their waking hours on phone, which amounted to 1800 hours in a year.

However, constantly being glued to your phone could have serious consequences on your physical and mental health. Using smartphones excessively can have a negative effect on your eyesight and posture, but may also lead to depression and anxiety. Add to that the fact that the urge to peek at our smartphones is a constant distraction, which affects your concentration at work, increases the tendency to check out mentally of conversation in progress, in real life. The effects only get worse for children, since we are dealing with a generation that hasn’t known a life without technology.

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These harmful effects on our health and relationships should be enough for us to put down the phones. And though it isn’t easy, incentives like discount at restaurants are our chance to free ourselves from this compulsion to use our smartphones. But discount or not, each one of us needs to give life outside of our phones a chance. Just switch off your phone for an hour in the day. Or put it on mute to have a cup of tea with your family or play with your kids. You could also make pacts with your partners and kids, where you all could stay off your phones for some time in the day or week, no matter what you choose to do with your spare time.

A breather from technology is essential because just like everything else in life, excess of smartphones isn’t good for us, moreover, it also leads us to take technology that has made our lives so easy for granted. So in order to value this connect fully, perhaps the best thing to do it disconnect.

Pic credit: eater.com

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.