UNITED STATES—What is it about the cellphone that brings so much joy, but so much stress for Americans at the same time? For so many Americans we are glued to our cellphones, and I must admit so am I. Even when I don’t have buzzes or rings on my phone I’m checking it to see if I have missed a potential message. It is like I have programmed my brain to operate in such a fashion and I hate it.

Why are we so glued to our phone? Why do we feel the need to check and look at our phones at any given moment? Technology has made our phones into devices that seem to do everything we want them to do. We can talk on them. We can surf the internet, we can check emails, we can check our social media, and the list goes on and on.

That is the problem with the cellphone: we feel important because of it. Go back to the 80s, cellphones hadn’t become a phenomenon. If you wanted to chat with someone you had to use the landline, some were portable, some were glued to the wall, and some people had those pesky rotary phones. I mean could you imagine having to contact someone during an emergency and a rotary phone was your only option. Yeah, it could be a life or death situation.

I have been trying lately to use my cellphone less and less; I have been trying to navigate my life around the cellphone, not allowing the cellphone to navigate my life. It’s like the cellphone dictates my life and there is nothing fun about it. Stressing out about rather or not you’re going to get a text message from work or someone that you hope hadn’t contacted you. Why? Why do we internalize such guilt and stress? It is stupid and restless, but with cellphones we have sent the message to others that we are easily accessible if we have one. You need to reach me, text me, email or you can call me. It places us in a 24/7 cycle one that allows little to no escape. Ask yourself this simple question: how many times did you check your phone yesterday? I’m sure it was at least 20 times or more people. That is indeed a problem, one that cannot be easily solved.

Well, there is a potential solution: turn off your phone. We live in this world were (even I am guilty of it), I’m afraid to turn off the cellphone. What if I get an important call, what if I get an important message, what about an email? Well if you get one, you’ll get one; it is not the end of the world! We have to start taking things back into our hands. If you need a night where you can just relax, decompress and NOT worry, turn off the cellphone. If someone really NEEDS to get into contact with you they will find a way. If it is NOT as urgent of an issue, guess what, it’s not an emergency!

The stress of the cellphone is putting our lives at risk and NOT in a good way America. High blood-pressure, worry on top of worry, stress, anxiety, things we can control by putting that device down. Yes we use it to communicate, but at the same time should we allow technology to control our lives when we’ve lived for years without it? Technology is controlling our lives more and more nowadays. We’ve lived centuries without the stress of the cellphone, why should any of that change because they now exist? If anything they are to make our lives easier, not harder!

Written By Jason Jones