Walking into a restaurant, I pull my phone out of my back pocket and check my social media and messages, putting the world around me on mute. Playing with it for most of the meal, sighing in annoyance when it dies acting as if my world just ended and my life is useless.

As a child, I rarely spent any time using electronics because my days consisted of playing with my toys, my friends or family. Many teenagers today had a similar childhood, consisting of running around outside for hours and returning home exhausted with no desire to watch whatever show was on.

When I was younger the only electronics I used were the TV and my brother’s gaming console, but I knew when to stop without being told. When I was 10, I was given my first smartphone, I didn’t know this then, but that one cheap phone was the beginning of my technology addiction.

Hi my name is Grinesa, and I’m addicted to technology.

Many teens, including myself, have let smartphones and laptops take control of their lives. I act like without my electronics my life is empty and useless, or without them I can’t function. I set my phone down to do something productive for one minute, but as soon as I hear it ring, my fingers start shaking and I rush back to it, aching to see my latest message.

I recently learned to admit I am addicted to technology, but so are 50% of teens today. Not only am I addicted, but I’m not alone; at least half of my friends are addicted as well. It was so hard for me to admit my addiction and my dependency to electronics, but learning I’m not alone allowed me to accept it.

I’ve decided I do not want technology to preside over my life anymore. I don’t want to look back at my teen years and realize I spent more time on random apps than living life. I don’t want a smartphone deciding what I do or when I do it. I want to take back control and set my phone to the side.

The solution is simple: I need to learn to set my electronics down. I need to go outside out into the real world and leave my phone charging at home. It’s time to spend time outside, experiencing the real world or enjoying time with loved ones. Technology may be the future, but it’s hurting the future of the human race rather than helping it.

Do you think you spend too much time on your phone?

Many basic learning and speaking skills are lost because children are too focused on the amount of points they have on a device than schoolwork.