'I'm addicted to the thing which is killing me.' I am a teenager and I wish I never got a phone.

I am addicted to the thing which is killing me. 

No, it is not drugs, or alcohol, or junk food. I am addicted to my phone. 

As a teenager, I feel like my phone is slowly killing me. The emotional toll and power that the small brick I carry around in my pocket has over me is worrying.

Last week, I read a Mamamia article titled, 'As a mum of a 12-year-old with a phone, this 3-minute viral ad broke me.'

The article was confronting and forced me to focus on the ways that getting a phone has changed my life, and the truth is, I don’t like it.

I was one of the last ones in my grade to get a phone, despite my constant begging, and the moment I held the device in my hand for the first time, I couldn’t picture my life without it. 

It became my go-to source for everything – social media, texting, and even entertainment. But what I thought would be a harmless addition to my life has become an addiction.

Watch: The 'cost of beauty' ad by Dove. The post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

I can't even count the number of hours I've wasted scrolling through my Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat feeds. It's like a black hole that sucks me in and won't let go. 

I tell myself I'll just check my notifications for a few minutes, but before I know it, hours have passed, and I'm still glued to my phone. 

But it isn’t just a time thief. It robs me of my joy, my passion and if I am completely honest, I think it has robbed me of my childhood. 

When I was younger, my spare time was filled with creativity and play. I would read, paint, draw, play with my toys and make up games. Boredom was not cured with a screen but by my imagination. 

But now, I feel like I never have the chance to be truly bored. There's always a new video to watch, a new social media post to like, or a new game to play. I worry that my generation is losing the ability to sit still and just be. 

That we're so addicted to constant stimulation that we've forgotten how to be content with the silence. Because while technology has brought us many benefits, it's also brought a sense of restlessness that's hard to shake.

Young Zoe. Image: Supplied.


Now because of social media, that carefree girl who would do as she pleased is consumed by the opinions of everyone else. Every video you watch is just another reminder that you weren’t invited to that party, you aren’t as pretty as she is, or you aren’t as smart as he is. It is like a constant comparison game I cannot seem to escape. 

And the worst part is, I know it's not real. I know that people only post their highlight reel online and that everyone has their struggles, insecurities and flaws. But still, I find myself scrolling and scrolling, trying to find some sort of validation or acceptance in the likes and comments of strangers.

When I was younger, I didn't care about what others thought of me. I was content in my own little bubble, playing and exploring not a care in the world. When did we start living for the praise and opinion of other people and stop living for the simple joys of life? 


It's like social media has become a virtual arena where we're constantly competing for likes, comments, and followers. It's no longer about doing something for the sake of doing it, but about doing something so we can share it on social media and get that instant gratification from others. It's a vicious cycle that's hard to break, and it's robbed us of our ability to enjoy the present moment.

Listen: Is there a right age to get social media? Post continues after podcast.

My phone is the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I see when I go to sleep. And I know that it's not just me. You can’t go out without seeing someone struggling with the same thing, always checking their phones, and never really disconnecting. It's like we've all become slaves to this little device in our pockets, and we can't break free.

I'm trying my best to stop this addiction. I'm trying to be more mindful of my phone usage, to limit my time on social media, and to prioritise real-life experiences over virtual ones. But it's not easy. The temptation is always there, and sometimes I give in.

If I could go back in time, I would tell my younger self to hold off on getting a phone for as long as possible. To cherish those moments of boredom and let my imagination run wild. To enjoy the simple pleasures of life without the constant need for stimulation.

But since I can't go back, all I can do now is try my best to live in the present and find a balance between technology and real life. It's a work in progress, but I'm hopeful that one day I'll be able to break free from the thing that's been holding me and many others captive.

Featured Image: Supplied.

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