I have not been reading much and that makes me angry. Frankly, after a lot of thought, I blame my phone. We’re breaking up, me and my phone. (Actually phones, I have two. How has this happened?)
My phone is just too enticing, too sexy. What with the instant ability to connect with people via Facebook and Twitter. And I can be on top of both my work life and my personal correspondence with my work email and my gmail account. And let’s not talk about how much I like my shopping websites! Now I am noticing that my phone is making me a little bit OCD about the weather as well and I am checking Yahoo weather at an alarming rate.
My book club met a few weeks ago and we picked books for the next 5 months. For once I kept my big mouth shut and they picked 4 out of the 5 books that I have not read. So now the heat is on and I can’t just rely on the large number of books I have already read and just re-skim them. I actually have to keep up. That pressure forced me to take a hard look at the use of my personal time and my relationship with my phone.
What I see isn’t pretty and as much as I yell at my kids for the way they “study”: read a bit, respond to the buzz of the text message, go back to reading, respond to a different sound indicating a “snap chat”, I find that I am not that different. (Thank God they would never read my blog!) I too am in a haze; a technology induced coma that has left me helpless to the bad relationship I have with my phone….er phones.
So I am going to take back my life and to cement this commitment I am making 3 New Year’s Resolutions. (I know I am late on this, I am always post trend, heck we just got Netflix!) These are the three things I will do to get out of my bad relation ship with my phone and focus on people and books:
1. Stop carrying my phone around with me after I get home from work. I actually can’t believe I do this. It started with me thinking I did it to receive text messages from my children. And again, WHY is this the only way we communicate? But I will train them to CALL me if they “need” me which is usually just because they need a ride home from somewhere. But why am I so ready to just jump at a moment’s notice to serve their every need? Oops, I am ranting, but this one change will be the biggest single thing to help me focus on the book I am reading or the conversation I am having with the person in front of me.
2. I will only check my Facebook, Twitter and all the rest of my obsessions on my computer once per night and NEVER on my phone. This will also help me with the squinting I do when I look at my phone. This squinting has startled me when I am trying to take a picture and instead it’s pointed at me and not at the subject of the photo. Who is this wrinkled, squinting lady? It’s an image I find hard to shake when I inadvertantly catch a glimpse of myself. Trust me, it’s not pretty.
3. When I feel the need to talk to a friend, instead of texting them one of my deep and profound messages like “yo”, or “hey”; I will actually dial their digits. I tell my kids we should have an app to show the phone can be used as a real time, voice to voice device. But I realize that this also applies to me. So I will pretend I have downloaded this app to my phone and instead of the yo, what’s up text messages I send, I will actually call the people I am connecting with.
My hope is that these three things will leave me feeling happier. I will read more, have longer but more meaningful conversations with people. And never have to see that squinting version of me because my phone is facing the wrong way.
So join me: Put down your phone. Pick up a book.