Before the coronavirus pandemic , had someone walked up to me and asked if I could live without my phone, a resounding yes would have been the answer but after everything, especially with the imposed Coronavirus lockdown back then, no would suffice. Why? Because my digital dependency hit an all-time high like most of the world during the lockdown. Not only was my phone a source of comfort and refuge, it was one of the few things that kept me sane during those tough months stuck at home. It’s better now obviously.
Digital dependency is the term used for the compulsive checking of the web without even being aware of it. Every chime , every ring, every ping , every single sound basically has us scrambling for our mobile devices then scrolling mindlessly through them. It encompasses all screens mobile or not.
According to a research article published by Ofcom in August, 2018, people in the UK spend 12 minutes of their waking time checking their phones. This research had been carried out months before Covid-19 happened in the world when people moved about freely without much thought . Now imagine the findings if this research had been carried out during lockdown. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to chastise or criticize technology because in as much as it has its negative sides, it also has its many positives and it has undoubtedly made life easier for mankind.
On the other hand unfortunately, one of it’s many downsides is our increasing over reliance and total dependence on it. For me especially during the long forgotten restricted days of Covid-19, fear, anxiety and boredom made me too dependent on my cell. I mean, what was this new strange disease that I had been hearing of? My anxiety level would spike at the very thought of the virus then to release the stress and deal with the uncomfortable feelings, I would head to my number one comfort device, my phone.
A typical day followed through like this: At the first peak of sunlight, I would reach for my cell to know the latest NCDC coronavirus situation report. A quick glance at the numbers would make my heart fall. I would then proceed to WhatsApp to see if anyone’s friend’s aunty’s sister had the virus but none whatsoever. Feelings of doubt of the authenticity of the virus would then set in. To celebrate this little breakthrough, I would binge instagram for more peng work from home pictures. Finally bored with Instagram ,I would move on to Snapchat for some more adrenaline.
This unhealthy cycle went on for weeks with little breaks here and there just to cater for my humanity when providence came in the form of PHCN. Thankfully, I was forced to see the light and I’m forever indebted to PHCN for saving me. Their sudden refusal to supply power was what broke the cycle and forced me to seek human companionship and obviously steady power supply in my neighbour’s house.