Does the power button on your phone also trigger stress?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
I have a very strong bond with my phone; not so much the device itself, but the people that I get to talk to by using it. Reason for this is because all of the people I love and enjoy talking to are directly accessed through that device. If I want to text my best friend - that’s what I use. If I want to call my parents - that’s what I use. If I want to read the status of every acquaintance I’ve ever met - (you've got it) that’s what I use. But the stress of always needing to know who is doing what and where they’re at can be just as much reason to dislike the device as it is to enjoy it. Does your stress level rise or fall when you turn the device on?
I’d have to say I get pretty stressed when it’s not turned on. When it’s not capable of sending or receiving anything I constantly wonder what’s going on. What if something happened to my son, or my family, or friends? I won’t know about it, because my phone isn’t on. Nobody will know what number to call me at if they need to reach me. Not only that; my source of entertainment when I’m bored will no longer be accessible either. For a lack of better term, I feel very alone without my phone. That stresses me out.
However, many people I’ve spoken to tell me that being “without” a phone makes them feel carefree. There are a lot of reasons why people feel this way when without their phone: Demanding jobs, frequent drama, or even just knowing that they’ve been spending too much time on their phone and not enough time with other activities. Just knowing that distractions can’t come through to you is peace enough for people to have enough willpower to turn off something they’d otherwise feel obligated to respond to.
A big part of the reason that stress takes over when we have our phones turned on is because we don’t necessarily use our phones at the right times. When somebody is at work, naturally their phone should be used for work. After all, you’re being paid for by the company for your time. However, when you’re not being paid for your time, other than the occasional phone call from the boss or employee, why should you be bothered with work? Studies show that both men and women suffer psychological stress when bringing “work” home rather than when home life and work life are separated. With advances in technology making us more and more accessible, the line that normally would exist between work and home becomes blurred and the two are often mixed. It would make sense for those people without the clear definition of home and work life to feel more relief when ditching the cell rather than stress about it.
As a mostly passive user, I don’t depend on my phone for more than my main source of entertainment. I never see my phone as a “bother” so I suppose that’s where the two different opinions on stress and phones can come from. Naturally, if something is being a nuisance to you you’d want to get rid of it. If you enjoy something in your life, you want to keep it around. I’m pretty sure if I thought my phone was a bother I wouldn’t be here writing these articles about them five days a week, but I could be wrong. People do things they don’t enjoy every day (but I love this job, so that’s irrelevant).
I’m interested in hearing from you how you feel without your phone. Do you feel less stressed or more stressed, and why? Do you feel that there’s a correlation between work and phones that make some people feel more stressed when theirs is on? Let me know what you think in the comments!