My name is Courtney and I have a technology addiction. My cell phone has its own pillow to lie on at night. An embroidered sham of finest silk. The first step in overcoming a problem is naming it. I, however, take comfort in knowing I am not alone in this addiction. Groups go out for food and spend the entire meal not looking at each other. Drivers swerve all over the road – dozens of near misses a day. Babies are trying to swipe pages of books instead of realizing they are made out of paper and PAGES MUST BE TURNED.

We are literally screening all interactions with the world. While our digital experience is undoubtedly enriched (hello, filters!), we have to ask, “At what cost?” I saw two people hugging the other day on the street – both were looking at their cell phones mid-embrace. They were propping each other up instead of holding their weary necks. IT WAS A FALSE HUG, I SAY! Communication is easier to maintain than ever before. Information is right at our fingertips and beyond helpful…at ALL times. But the quality of real-life interactions has taken a backseat to the digital realm. Here are five tips to unplug and hopefully remember that we can exist without phones/tablets/whatever. At least until they’re implanted into our eyeballs. Then we’re both screwed and/or saved. Together, we can overcome! Do with this information what you will:

NO MOBILE TECHNOLOGY IN THE CAR – Probably the most debatable and controversial moratorium in this piece. Not really talking about imbedded GPS – I get lost going to the bathroom sometimes, so I really see the value in someone yelling directions out of the speakers at all times – TURN LEFT NOW! This is more a directive regarding cell phones and driving. No joke-y commentary needed – it’s dangerous, stupid, expensive (re: car accidents, tickets) and just not worth it. Text before or after you hit the road.

NO MOBILE TECHNOLOGY AT THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE, PHARMACY OR ANYWHERE MEDICAL, REALLY – It’s just common courtesy. Imagine this: You’re at the doctor getting the results of your medical panel, I’m sitting across from you gabbing about Wetzel’s Pretzels, various cheeses, “Ice Loves Coco”, “KUWTK”, “RHONJ”, or another acronym-ed show, my plans for later that night… I have a lot of things to talk about, okay? Doctor’s offices can be scary places, and they’re also should be private. Don’t be a jerk.

NO MOBILE TECHNOLOGY IN THE BATHROOM – Speaking of private places, it’s the bathroom. There are a LOT of particles flying around in the bathroom. O has done multiple specials on it. Blacklight, hello. Whatever it is, it can wait. Do your business offline. We all thank you.

NO MOBILE TECHNOLOGY AT THE CHECK-OUT COUNTER – Put that tablet away; everyone’s trying to load their groceries onto the belt and you’re taking up too much room! Get off the phone – the cashier is asking you questions, so pay attention. Paper or plastic? Debit or credit? These require responses more extensive than an elbow wave. Snap to it.

NO MOBILE TECHNOLOGY IN BED – This one is probably the most difficult. There’s nothing more than I love on a Saturday than having a lie-in and eyeballing on other people’s pictures – not creepy! Studies have shown that having an LED light in your bed disrupts biorhythms, or something. We can do without. Stay strong.

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