Pop quiz: How far is your phone away from you right now? Not very, probably.

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As a member of modern society, the convenience of cellphones and the Internet have practically evolved into another living part of our bodies. Hard to believe that less than 30 years ago none of those conveniences were part of the norm. If you wanted to know the meaning of a word, you had a dictionary. If you wanted to call up a crush without them knowing it was you, all you had to was hang up after hearing them say “hello.” Now the year is 2014 and both of these situations have changed drastically. In other words, the library is losing patrons while your crush already knows how crazy you are due to your incessant posts on social media. All because the digital age of technology has gifted us the world in a nutshell: the smartphone.

Here are just 4 of the reasons why the smartphone will always be our best friend:

1  Social media

Back in the old days of dial-up America Online, the Internet’s involvement with your outside world consisted of email, Instant Messenger, homepages made with EasyDesigner, crafty away messages, and even complicated conversations with SmarterChild because you didn’t have many friends. Nowadays there is a social platform for practically every single of aspect of your life to share with everyone. From status updates via Twitter and Facebook, to grub check-ins at Foursquare, all the way to filtered selfies on Instagram – a smartphone has instant access to all of these, making them the ultimate addiction right in the palm of your hands.

2  Dating apps

Everyone likes attention. Oh please, even the shyest person out there likes to be noticed to a certain extent. Now picture social platforms that involve (some) good looking people anxious to meet you: many, many times a day. It gets annoying for the most part, but a constant ego boost won’t deviate you away from the phone anytime soon.

3  Security blanket

The original purpose of a phone in the first place was to make communication much easier than writing letters to one another. Then came the birth of text messaging, the perfect portmanteau lovechild of writing notes and instant one-on-one interaction. However, it seems like the more technology evolves to make life easier, the rules of social norms become more blurred than ever. Tone of voice conveyed through the phone has transformed into the length of time it takes to respond to a text. Phones just make it easier for us to hide.

4  Laziness

Not necessarily the literal definition of “sloth”, but instead more along the lines of not using one’s memory or knowledge to think on their own. For example, television show How I Met Your Mother has a scene where the characters have an intense argument about the country’s most popular food in a time when smartphones didn’t exist. Flash-forward to the present: everyone’s in a zombified state staring into their phones, where character Robin then says: “Oh remember that debate? …The answer’s bread.” (Talk about the end of conversation skills.)

Your results: Try to leave the phone at home once in awhile. It will do wonders for your mental health.

Annie Dizon