Over the last few weeks, I’ve talked a lot about quiet. I’ve been feeling the need to be quieter in my life. Mainly in regards to social media and the vast expanse of the internet. And especially on my iPhone.
Then, last week, my phone dropped onto the kitchen floor and the screen went black. It’s still functioning (because Siri will talk to me) but the screen just won’t work. It’s been five days without my phone and I love it. It’s freeing not to say, “Hmmm. Wonder if it’s cold outside. Let’s check the weather. Oh, it’s 64 and then 66 later today.” As if those 2 degrees make a difference!! It’s so nice to say, “I don’t know the answer to that question. We can look it up later.” I like not searching for coupons or recipes while we’re walking around the store. I like not picking up that thing like a crying child every time it vibrates.
My phone represents an entire to-do list for me–phone calls I need to make, emails I could respond to, tweets, instagrams and facebook updates I could do. It is also an endless source of entertainment, information and mind-numbing time-fillers.
When I have a few minutes of down time my mind immediately wanders to the portal of my phone. What can I do? What can I get into? What can I read? Too many times I pick it up and let myself get lost in it. If I do choose to ignore it’s siren’s call, I find my mind jumping to something else and forgetting that little rabbit trail it wanted to follow. Like if I just jump over that don’t-pick-up-the-phone hurdle, then my mind is fine.
Is this making sense?
Am I the only one who gets bogged down by this black hole of minimally fulfilling entertainment?
Well, as I’ve been contemplating this quiet-ness I want in my life and had this unintentional fast from my phone the last five days, I’ve decided how to I’d like to go forward with my relationship with my iPhone. Here’s what I’ve got so far…
1. A weekly Sabbath.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m taking Sunday to use my phone only as a phone and not even crack my computer open. If I can have self-control one day a week, surely that should help my self-control the rest of the week, right?
2. A sleeve.
I got this idea from Heather at Beauty That Moves (and her entire iPhone post was another motivator for this whole thought process). Simply having my phone in a sleeve gives me one more step to accessing my phone. I can’t slip it in my back pocket so it’s at my fingertips. I just bought the case and haven’t seen if this actually works but so far it makes me happy looking at it.
3. No Push Notifications.
This has always been a constant for me. I don’t want my phone telling me every time someone double-taps one of my Instagram pics. Talk about instant gratification.
4. Minimal Apps
When I get my phone fixed (today or tomorrow), I’m going to do an app purge. I already refuse to have games on my phone because I don’t want the kids to play them. But I’m going to limit MY entertainment, too. I have everything from Fandango and IMDB to HootSuite and Facebook. But do I really need those on my phone? Can I live a few minutes without checking to see what other shows Jake Johnson has been in?
5. App Organization
Kat has a genius idea bout organizing apps (as usual, that smart mama). I might do something like that or simply move the apps that I tend to scan and scroll through mindlessly to the last screen so I don’t see them right away.
I also don’t allow screens at the table and don’t charge them in our bedroom. I want to be less tethered to my phone. I want my mind to stay focused on the here and now. I want to be all there. I don’t want my mind to lean on my phone first.
And I want to set the example for my kids, too. I can only imagine that technology is going to be more pervasive and more accessible as they get older. I want to use this time of growth in their lives to be independent of technology.
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