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I won’t lie. I LOVE my phone. More specifically, I LOVE social media. From the feeling of posting an Instagram picture and receiving comments about how good I look, to getting a Snapchat from a cute guy, my life revolves around my phone. I have become so engrossed in my phone that I have been missing out on so many moments. From missing an important scene in The Vampire Diaries because I was texting or watching TikTok, to creating TikToks while I’m with my friends, I am so annoyed at myself. I always want my phone. I always reach for my phone. I am addicted to my phone so much that it is the basis of many of my social interactions. 

Think about it. During quarantine, we would have given anything to be able to come back to Furman, to have a dance party with our friends, and to eat at the DH for another meal. To have that social interaction in a place we all love and know. To have more opportunities to create memories. Yet now I find myself at Furman, still having fun with friends, still eating at the DH, but using my phone during too many of those moments. Whether it be to document it for my Snapchat or to answer a text, I forgot how much I wanted to truly live in these moments months ago and how I am getting too comfortable using my phone. 

However, I am working on it. 

It started with turning off my notifications for all apps and my texts. If something important is happening, people know to call. I have also set time restrictions on my apps to limit myself from overusing each and every app I use. Finally, and the thing I am the MOST excited about, is I downloaded this app called Forest. 

Forest is a productivity app that works toward making you live more in the moment by preventing you from using your phone. You set a timer and plant a seed, after time goes with you not using your phone, the seed grows into a tree. If you use your phone, the seed withers and the process starts all over again. The coolest part about it, though, is that once you grow your tree, the app plants an actual tree in honor of your accomplishment! The app only allows you to grow up to five trees, but in my opinion, being able to say you worked on detaching from your phone while helping the environment sounds pretty cool. 

So, I encourage you all to download the app, put down your phone, and focus on the memories you’ve been wanting to make. Focus on being productive in the real world, because at the end of the day nothing from social media will make or break your life. Tell your friends and tell your family, too. As great of a tool that phones are, they can also be such an inhibitor for you to live your best life. In all, I know this is going to be a challenge for me but I hope to see all my Furman people out there growing some trees and bettering their productivity with me.  

Savannah Hobbie is a junior Politics & International Affairs and Communications double major at Furman University. She hopes to attend law school after college. Aside from her campus, she is a member of the Chi Omega sorority, is a mentor for middle school girls, and loves to volunteer. Her passions include self-care, beauty, spreading love, and hyping people up!
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