I am so over the way you dominate my thoughts and actions like an undeserving crush. I hate how you turn me into a drunken sorority chick: I love you, I hate you, I love you, I hate you. You're a thief. You steal my time from my family, my thoughts from the actual world and you take my concentration away during, well, everything. Because of you and your stupid unopened message tallies, I can no longer sit through a show, maintain an uninterrupted conversation or truly be fully present anywhere since I need to feel oh-so-important based on how many emails have arrived within the last three minutes. So hey, f*ck you.
But on the other hand, I'm writing this rant from a lounge chair in the mountains, watching the fireflies show off while my dogs snore at my feet. Because of you, I can simultaneously attend an impromptu party thrown by my 5-year-old and a long standing weekly conference call with my boss. I won't bore you, Smartphone, with the deep, intricate sense of guilt that comes with trying to be a professional and a parent all in the same moment (I'm sure there's an app for that anyway), but the truth is, I should probably be thanking you. You allow me so much more time with my sons than my parents had with me. You practically let me lead two lives at once -- it's not without challenges, but it's worth it. Instead of yelling at you, I should be marveling at the fact that, because you remember everything, I don't have to crowd my brain with things like contact numbers and birthdays. I can turn my thoughts to more delicious things.
Because of you, Smartphone, I can know what's going on around the world, donate to charity, check the weather and call my mom all within 10 minutes. Then while I spend the next 50 minutes with my sons, I can capture life's most ephemeral sweetnesses to relive with my husband when he gets home or send to friends across the globe in an instant, showing off how awesome my kids are (because that's not annoying at all).
So it actually isn't you. It is totally me. No should mean no, I should turn you off when I walk in the door, and I should stop basing my sense of self worth on how much you're blowing up. I've got to re-engage in the world instead of secretly feeling engaged to you.
So let's strike a deal, Smartypants: You keep doing the great job you do; remind me of appointments, obligations and meetings, keep me up to date on my favorite bands, connect me to the world when I want to be, and then if you love me, let me go. For my part, I will look up. I will take notice. I will stop. I'm going to breathe, savor, touch, feel and live without you for several stretches a day. If I love me, I will let you go.
Our relationship used to be a give and take. But from now on, this relationship is a one-way street. I own you for all the great things you can bring my life, but you don't own me in return. Smartphone, you are now my b*tch. Welcome.
This post is part of Look Up, a series produced by The Huffington Post and Cat Greenleaf of NBC's Talk Stoop about the benefits of disconnecting from our devices and re-connecting with our sense of wonder at the world around us. If you are taking steps to unplug and Look Up, email email@example.com to share your story. And use both hashtags #LookUp and #ThirdMetric to share photos on Twitter and Instagram of the things that inspire wonder in you.
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