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My name is Lori and I’m a phone-aholic

Hi, my name is Lori and I’m a phone-aholic.
A few years ago, I bought myself a “smart” phone when I reached a milestone birthday (when you get to a certain age, any birthday is a milestone).
I’m not even sure why I wanted one, except that everyone else in the family had one.
Here’s what I can do with it: text people, check my e-mail, check the stock market, look at the weather radar, surf the Web, get weather alerts, play games, take pictures and videos, watch movies, read books, monitor my pace and distance on runs and bicycle rides and, at the touch of a button, ask Siri stupid questions like “whatever happened to Randolph Mantooth from the old show ‘Emergency?’”
“Well, Lori, let me think about that,” Siri will respond. You go ahead and think about that, Siri, I’m too busy playing with my phone.
Oh, yeah, I can also make and receive phone calls, but that doesn’t happen very often. If the phone actually rings, I have to think a moment about how to answer it.
I’ve turned into one of these persons who sits down at the dinner table and carefully places my phone next to my plate so I can be ready if a tornado warning flashes on the screen or if it’s my turn in Words With Friends.
Even when there are no messages or warnings, I thumb in the security code and scroll through the icons, just in case I missed something.
I’m addicted.
My father used to be a heavy smoker, and my mother said that besides the nicotine addiction, Dad “just needs something to do with his hands.”
I think my phone is serving that same role with me. It gives my hands something to do.
I feel like I have the proverbial monkey riding on my back. I simply cannot let go of the phone.
I have learned to shut off the sound and stick it in the glove compartment so I’m not distracted while driving. But as soon as I’m parked, I’m checking my e-mail and stalking my friends on Facebook.
I’m turning into someone I don’t like. Someone so tuned into electronic media that I can barely have a conversation with a person sitting next to me.
I’ve decided to start weaning myself off the phone. I leave it in the house while I’m doing yard work. It sits on my desk when I’m at meetings. It stays downstairs after I go up to bed.
I keep reading about people and families who resolve to stay off electronic media for a week or longer, forcing themselves to do activities like the crossword in the newspaper, or playing in the yard. They tell time by looking at a clock or a watch instead of at their phones.
I wonder if I could last a day without my phone.
I think I’m going to try that one day soon. Maybe Saturday. So, if your phone doesn’t ring, you’ll know that it’s me.