In November 2011, an iPhone 4 fell into my little hands. Back then, this mysterious, magical piece of smart technology seemed like the gateway to only fun and positive things: Words with Friends, a star chart app and an archaic version of Instagram, at the time designed for nothing more than applying cool filters to your low-res camera phone photos.
2011年11月，我拿到了一部iPhone 4。那个时候，这一神秘的、神奇的智能技术似乎是通往有趣积极事物的大门：Words with Friends是一个星图应用程序，也是Instagram的老版本，当时的设计无非是给低分辨率的手机加个冷色滤镜。
Fast-forward six years and five iPhones later, and like so many others, I had become chained to a smartphone universe. And recent reports reveal that I'm not alone. According to a 2017 study by Flurry, the average American spends five hours a day on smart devices and about 2.5 of those hours are spent in social, messaging, media and entertainment applications.
It's hard to decipher when, during the span of these past seven years, the love and joy I felt for my iPhone turned into a crippling dependency. But now, I fall asleep to my phone every night and wake to it each morning. I check the Weather app every morning before I choose how to dress for the day.
I rely on Google Maps to help me navigate a city I should know well enough on my own. I update my inbox every time I pick my phone up (which is so frequent, it's embarrassing). Hell, the second I'm not near my television. The smart device that once acted as a useful tools lowly became an addiction.
Just like with any addiction, my phone dependency began to impact the more personal areas of my life. In fact, my iPhone began to take the place of my interpersonal relationships. While spending time with family, I'd stare into a small screen on my lap instead of engaging at a level I would have a mere few years back. At work, my productivity levels dropped dramatically due to the constant distraction my phone provided. It was only a matter of time before it came after my romantic relationship too.
My rock bottom, the point at which I realized just how addicted to my phone I was, happened when my four-year relationship came to an end.