I used to turn my nose up at those sat on the MTR glued to their phones when I first arrived in Hong Kong – I can now officially say that I’ve turned into one of them.
My name is Ella Watson and I’m addicted to my phone, like the rest of Hong Kong’s population.

It’s an addiction I’d really like to kick sooner rather than later as I don’t suppose it’s doing anything positive for my eyes, my real time conversation skills and it so happens that thumb cramp is a real and painful thing – screw Instagram for having endless scrolling capabilities. Every now and then I think I’ll just delete Facebook, I genuinely do hate it, and stop telling the world what I’m doing and checking in with everyone else, because let’s be honest it’s not a normal thing to know what’s going on in the life of someone you met one time on a junk boat months ago and then have bumped into zero times since. The reality is that living in Hong Kong makes any real movement towards deleting yourself from social media and peeling yourself away from whatsapp really quite difficult because everything happens via there.
The only step I’ve made towards kicking the addiction so far is not putting data on my phone so I’m pretty much unreachable whilst I’m outside of wifi zones (by the way that’s nowhere in Hong Kong except for when I’m hiking). This also has resulted in me being the super annoying person that always asks for the wifi when arriving at any location.

All that being said, when I climbed Mount Rinjani the other week I was forced to swap life via the screen to real time thought and conversation and the whole experience was priceless. For the first time in what feels like an age I had time to dedicate myself to my own thoughts and climbing up an at times pretty challenging volcano. It was really nice to not talk to anyone, or think about any of the chaos in Hong Kong or anywhere else I’m constantly in contact with. It was incredible to sit under the stars with locals and just talk, and get to the summit of a volcano and just take it in for myself for a while. If nothing else, not touching my phone safe for a few photos turned out to be some clarity that I needed for some of the next steps and some of the people I do and don’t want to keep having contact with in the future.


Obviously though, the moment I got back to wifi four days later I immediately did send the summit to my parents and besties and I think I pretty much instantly put it on Instagram because I just climbed a volcano and obviously I’m going to brag about it.

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