I blame my phone: And 3 things I’m doing about it

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.

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About Anne Loughrey

I am an avid member of several book clubs and a prolific keeper of my books. I love to discuss books and hear what others think of books I have read.
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11 Responses to I blame my phone: And 3 things I’m doing about it

  1. Anonymous says:

    Anne you know I love you and now I totally adore you. I have had this dilemna this month and you helped me feel right about my decision. I was on the countdown for deciding on whether or not I will get a smart phone. This week I decided not to. I was feeling so old fashioned and stubborn but for all the reasons you stated. I am not getting a smart phone. I love to talk…Texting, not personal enough.

    • Barb, I am so glad this helped you make your decision. Today has been hard for me to keep my resolutions but I do think it will get easier over time. And you know I love and adore you too! CALL ME!

  2. JL Jackson says:

    Whoa, Anne – that’s CRAZY talk! However, you have never been one to have wimpy goals. I’m sure you can divorce your phones or maybe just a trial separation to start…
    Minutes ago, I dropped my oldest daughter at a babysitting gig. The mom was still getting ready for the date night, so the dad was giving out instructions. Dad said the mom was going to be leaving her phone at home, otherwise, “She would just be working the entire night!”

    How did we ever grow up with just a land line?
    I have to admit, I am anxious when I text my kids (actually singular, the youngest never had her phone with her or turned on, so I stopped buying her airtime) or my dad and I do not immediately see that they have “read” the message. (Pretty handy iPhone feature, or frustrating, depends on your perspective.)
    And I L O V E that I can “see” when my 89 year-old dad is out and about with his phone and when he gets back home safe and sound – 1300 miles away.

    So what’s my point? I guess Anne, as usual, you have got us thinking… and I love it.
    Please tell us what five books the book club picked!!!

    Best of luck to you Miss Anne as you stop the squinting, the texting and the weather checking!
    JL

    • JL, you KNOW I like crazy talk! I made it through the day today and it was hard but I think it will get easier over time. I do think phones are great and I can see why you like knowing where your dad is, but for me, I needed to make some changes! So CALL me sometime soon and we can actually talk, it will be cool! xoxo LULT

  3. efgfmom says:

    What are your book clubs’ lists??

    • Hi Efgfmom, nice to hear from you. My book club doesn’t keep an electronic list and while I AM on goodreads, I don’t do a good job of keeping that site updated. Maybe now that I am breaking up with my phone, I will take care of that. But to answer your question, my club is reading the following 5 books: “Fair and Tender Ladies” by Lee Smith, “Ready Player One”, “Defending Jacob”, “The Aviator’s Wife” (this is one I have read and blogged about), and Wally Lamb’s new book, “We are Water”. I love, love, love Wally Lamb. I checked out your blog and you certainly are knowledgeable about food! Thanks for stopping in.

  4. efgfmom says:

    Are you on goodreads?

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  5. Shelly Crowley says:

    I miss you… well, I guess I should CALL and tell you that! See you Friday?

    Shelly Crowley
    Associate Publisher
    Mpls St. Paul Magazine
    Mspmag.com
    Direct: 612-336.9216
    Mobile: 612-386.3085

  6. Mary Lou Olson says:

    Anne, I’m so happy to hear that you will be calling. I can’t wait to talk to you on the phone. I miss you and all your family. Please call once in a while to let me know how things are going. I just finished The Fault in our Stars and am reading Defending Jacob, how about that. I’m saving The Goldfinch until I get home and can borrow yours :). Love you, ML

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