Does anyone else feel trapped by their own phone?
As someone who, quite frankly, writes emails for a living, I find myself falling into a panic when I walk out of the office with a million group chat messages, 2 missed calls from mum and 5 meme tags on Facebook.
I instantly become filled with dread in the knowledge that I've now 'seen' these messages and will be expected to reply, then trapping myself in a 45 minute phone call or 2 hour long, 5 message per minute never-ending loop of pointless conversation when all I want to do is watch The Bachelor in peace! But if i don't reply or call back, it means I can't engage in any other form of social media updates, because these days, the biggest no-no of social media is leaving a Facebook message on 'read', then posting to your Instagram story. The anxiety!
So, what do I do? I leave it on read, reply at 11pm in the hope that everyone is asleep, and repeat the same process the next day.
Does this make me a terrible Millennial? I'm constantly reading about how we're addicted to our phones, and that's not to say I don't mindlessly scroll on Instagram on the train or catch myself stalking my own Facebook photos from 2011, but the need to constantly stay in touch with my entire social circle just isn't there for me, creating this very real sense of Millennial guilt.
Surely I'm not the only one feeling like this, so as communication professionals, how do we reach Millennials without contributing further to this anxiety? We need to be leveraging new technologies to make experiences less about the medium, and more about taking us away from the tech black hole we live in. We need to be thinking of new and creative ways to reach the generation that are so digitally native, that it might just come full circle and be our own demise.
The telephone call, by contrast, was full of unknowns, which is perhaps why Millennials like me – notorious control freaks who insist on the perfect filter for an Instagram photo of our avocado toast – find the prospect of one so terrifying.