Alright. I’m just going to put this out there at the risk of embarrassing myself. I’m not sure if you can relate, but I polled a few of my girlfriends and found that they could identify with me, at varying levels.

I often feel obligated to check my phone. Does that sound weird? Let me explain. Between myself and the three women that I spoke with, I find that sometimes the websites, blogs, and social media that I find entertaining can also make me feel duty-bound. By this, I mean that I feel that many times I need to check in on my Facebook mom groups and show some love and support, stay on top of my friends’ Instagram photos, update my running app, make my move on one of my word games when I think that maybe a friend is waiting for me, and stay abreast of a couple of my favorite blogs.

This is a self-created “problem”, and obviously not much of a problem at all. Really, there are some times when I just want to check in on one of the social media accounts on my phone when I have just a few seconds, but end up feeling duty-bound. My girlfriend brought up a point that I could totally identify with. She used the example of just wanting to go dip into her mom group to get, I don’t know, say, tips for traveling with toddlers, when she sees that someone in the group is dealing with heavy real-life shit. And then, BOOM, you’re involved. You need to provide support. She didn’t mean to be negative in saying that, and I know exactly what she was talking about. It becomes a time investment.

Another friend said that she has to check her choice sites or apps daily and also feels compelled to go back to specific people and search them in case she missed something. This is absolutely something I do as well. The internet has created this second layer of relationships in my life, and I feel responsible for maintaining them and carrying my weight.

Do YOU feel any of these obligations? The kinds that make you sometimes feel glued to your phone, or that you need to check in? In talking to my friends, the biggest culprits were: work email, favorite blogs, Facebook, Instagram, eBay, FitBit, MyFitnessPal, Crossfit WOD, Dailymile, Pintrest, text threads, etc. I know that this isn’t necessarily a real-world kind of problem, but my phone can be a major time suck for me — and it’s not an easy habit to break because of (of course) the fact that I enjoy checking in on my favorite things, but also because of the relationships I’ve formed and the habits I’ve created.

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