Can you honestly say that you could live without a certain something (that you use in your everyday life)?
That sounds pretty vague, but it’s a question that’s gotten me thinking about exactly what I can and can’t live without.
Essentially, what I am addicted to.
And when I say ‘can’t live without’, I’m referring to the things that are luxury items (i.e anything other than the basic human necessities to survive).
The first thing that came to mind was tea.
I drink coffee also, but have made a very conscious effort not to rely on that particular hot beverage. Tea is my poisonous, and the flavour is English Breakfast.
I have it every morning, along with a cup in the afternoon as well as often sneaking one in before bed.
Tea has been romanticised as a drink you bust out when it’s raining or you have the oldies around, but I’ve incorporated it into my everyday. And hey, it wasn’t hard. It is caffeine, after all.
If I don’t have a cup in the morning, my energy levels dive and a headache ensues. I feel incomplete and a little lost without my morning brew.
Could I live without it? Eventually, but what would I drink when I’m sleepy/bored/reading/watching TV/writing/breathing?
Next up is the obvious addiction – my phone.
It’s genuinely scary just how dependable we’ve become on these chunks of metal and glass.
A prime example is yesterday afternoon. My phone weirdly lost signal while I was out visiting family, and it was probably gone for hours, but as soon as I realised I obsessively started trying to fix it. Whilst I was driving. When I was nearly home anyway.
The idea of unintentionally being offline was thrilling at first, but quickly turned into a vicious mind game of ‘but what if ___ is trying to contact me?’.
I started thinking about what would happen if my phone’s signal stopped for more than a few hours. What if I needed to make an urgent call? What if I needed to use Google Maps? What if James wasn’t home and I couldn’t get a hold of him?
The thought reel continued and alas, all was well when I got home. It did serve me right for being too stingy to pay for Spotify Premium – I lost access to all my playlists on that sucker too.
The latest Apple update includes Screen Time, which has thus far been naming and shaming me for spending more time than the average person on social media (and my phone in general, apparently).
It conveniently doesn’t let you argue your case (i.e. factor in that I run an online business), but instead breaks your screen time up into different categories.
I’m sure the feature works wonders for some people, but so far it’s just made me feel guilty for spending time on a Sunday working on my biz (jerk).
Another addiction of mine? Shopping. Specifically, online.
I manage to keep this one under control due to my severe lack of shopping funds at the moment, but if I had the money I would definitely need a bigger closet.
I like to think that marketing tactics and the clothing brands themselves contribute largely to this.
Yes, I like clothes, but I would be a whole lot less tempted to buy them if they weren’t constantly appearing in my inbox or as sponsored posts or tagged by influencers on Instagram.
In other words, the more I see a piece I love, the harder it is to resist it.
My cure? Not following/subscribing to ANY brands that have weekly new arrivals. It’s not good for the environment or my wallet, and the relentless and endless void of options is getting a little exhausting.
I now try to only support clothing brands who produce collections at a slower pace. It gives me time to decided if I really want/need an item, and I feel a lot less insulted when I receive new product notifications.
Originally, I wanted this piece to be discussing the Western world in general, and how we all have addictive personalities to some degree.
But chances are if you’re reading this on your phone (that you’ve picked up 20+ times today), then you’ve already figured that out.
So instead, I hope you’ve enjoyed this self-reflection and it inspires you to take a look at your habits and vices.
I’m not saying that we need to change (although we probably do) but it’s nice to look in every once in a while.
Until next time,