I Forgot My Phone

Christine linked to this last Friday but I thought it was so important it bore repeating here. I’ve recently been feeling overconnected again, and I don’t like the squirmy feeling it gives me to not even realize I’ve been glued to my phone and look up and see Fitz next to me, just staring at me, asking for attention. He gives me these looks like, “Oh. That thing again. Guess you can’t pet me.” Maybe I’m anthropomorphizing, but when your dog gives you guilty stares because your laptop is on and your tv is on and you’re still scrolling through your phone instead of rubbing his belly, maybe it’s time to cut back on technology.

I grew up without a cell phone, and when I finally did get one in high school, no one had text messaging. We didn’t have Facebook or Myspace or even Youtube, forget Instagram and Pinterest. We hung out in person, not Google+ hangouts, and no one spent the meal with their face buried in a smartphone. I miss that.

I spend 9 hours a day at work in front of two computers, why on earth do I need a phone to send me more email during my short commute home, where I have another two computers? Or get Twitter messages in bed? Long story short: I’m going back to my Nokia bar phone for a while, as a cleanse. Unlike those unhealthy and bizarre juice cleanses, this one makes sense. A phone that just makes phone calls. What a novel concept.

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September 10, 2013 / life / dog / LEAVE A COMMENT / 18

18 comments

  • We’re doing a family phone cleanse here too. Motivation for Callum, who needs it since he can’t seem to hear us talking to him or be bothered to answer us without looking up from it. So good role models and all that, blah, blah, blah.

    • Oh that is even a problem with me and J. I’ll say something and not realize his has his phone in his lap in the chair, and then there will be a long pause and he’ll look at me as if he just realized I was in the room. I’m guilty of it, too! Bad habits we need to break. xo

  • Good for you, duckie! And for Fitz. :D

    This really hit home for me when I decided to become a work-from-home Mum. It would be so, SO easy to get sucked into tweeting, Instagramming, etc. constantly all in a bid to promote/run 106 but I’ve made a conscious decision not to. I’m far too hopeless at breaking bad habits! :D

    I was raised with very little TV and no mobile phones and no social media (*gasp!* did such a time ever exist?!) so we’re doing the same with our girls.

    Didn’t do me any harm! :D x

    • I can imagine the temptation is a lot stronger if you’re in your natural environment! It’s so easy to lounge on the sofa and get lost online. I fondly remember a time sans social media and the world was a better place, I think. The urge to think, “Oh let me post that!” didn’t exist. Instead it was, “let me call my best friend and tell her!” Sigh.

      And speaking of “girls” plural, I hope you are doing well with your new wee one!! I can’t wait to hear all about her and her big sister and how life is now as a family of four :) xo

  • i hear you. i still don’t understand twitter and even though i have a fb page i rarely use it. sometimes i feel like i “should” – the “shoulds” of the blogging/online business, you know? but i just don’t want to be that connected all the time. obviously i have to blog, which i enjoy, it’s healthy “me time” and i need to run my online biz but other than that i like to try to be present to the people around me, which are my kids and they need that – i need that ;) photos are my weakness though, but they have been since waaaay back in the day.

    and, no, i didn’t grow up with all this at all! i remember spending entire days with my bff waiting for a song to be played on the radio so we could record it on my boom box. writing letters to my friends, and actually having to call someone to see how they were doing, or visit with them to see their new shoes/babies/haircuts/house. i don’t think i had my first cell phone until i was like 24! xoxo

    • Obviously I’m being a touch hypocritical and saying I want to disconnect but still, you know, running a blog ;) It’s a lot of upkeep on its own! The rest is just superfluous. And I want to get in the habit of being present around Fitz so I don’t turn into one of those mothers I see all over the city pushing their kids in strollers with one hand and scrolling through their phone with the other. It infuriates me! Or on the bus, ignoring their kid next to them. They’re missing so many opportunities to INTERACT with the kid and talk and point out things and have a conversation. Drives me bonkers. I don’t want to be that mom.

      I totally hear you about the boombox!! I used to rush home and pop a tape in the VCR to record the music videos on MTV (remember when they actually played music videos??). xo

  • Good for you. It’s too easy to be constantly checking for emails and most of the time there is nothing really that is urgent. Thanks for including the video – brilliant!

    • You’re right, nothing really is that urgent! If it was so urgent, someone would call. And that’s all you need a phone for. xo

  • Since Jordan and I are now sharing a laptop, I’m spending far less time in front of the screen and it’s doing wonders for me. Instead of waking up and hitting the blogs, I have been down on the beach. I wish I could switch off completely though – maybe when the job situation sorts itself out, I can do a little cleanse too! It’s sad that I can’t remember life without social media (especially considering I didn’t grow up with it either).

    • What a better way to spend your time! Going outside and enjoying life, that’s what we should all be doing. Can I swap the beach for a park, though? ;) How are things going on the job-hunting front? Not that I want to rush you, you seem to be really enjoying getting settled in! xo

  • OH that video is awful! And it’s not even exaggerated. I recognise myself in a lot of that. Ouch.

    • I though bits of it might have been a bit exaggerated for effect, but on the whole it was pretty damn accurate. You know there’s this thing floating around the internet, a stack of cell phones upside down on a table. When you’re out to a meal with friends you should do it, and the first person to crack and check their phone pays for the entire meal. It makes everyone focus on the conversation around them and not their screens. Brilliant! xo

  • Ugh that video is horrible and makes me so sad. I have a tolerate/hate relationship with my phone. I try to use the excuse that we are up here, alone, and all the family is away so we have to check the emails/skype etc constantly, but the truth is that a) they’re not trying to contact me all the time and b) it’s main use is more of a prop for if I’m sitting uncomfortably close to someone in public transport in order to avoid awkward eye contact. Even then I’m basically scrolling through my own photos, and even THAT makes me feel ridiculous. Just look out the window, gah!

    I don’t have Facebook or Twitter, and the most I do is blog and a bit of Instagram (which I’m also finding myself being a bit meh with- how many photos of spotless monochrome interiors/perfect ice cream-coffee-whatevers do you really need in your face every day?). I also find this over-connectedness affects my estimation of my own life too, sometimes for the worse. I know better, and know that outside of the perfect frames of the photos I see is probably clutter and mess and dirty nappies and stained carpets, but I can’t help but lust after some of the lives/locales/food choices of other people, as portrayed by their flawless feeds.

    SO yes. I’m impressed by you by taking some time off! I think everyone needs to take a step (or steps, in some peoples’ cases) back once in a while. Though I don’t have a back up phone to switch to, I’m def trying to switch OFF more. I’m reading lots (on PAPER!), trying to re-learn the clarinet and trumpet (much to my neighbours’ chagrin), trying to get out and enjoy the last bit of light, and trying to not stare gormlessly at a screen all day, chain-chugging coffee and developing a rather unattractive hunchback as I do.

    Hi five, bebeh, and good luck!

    • It really is pretty depressing and sadly accurate. I work in a business park and waiting for the shuttle every afternoon, when people are done work for the day and have left their offices, the people at the bus stops are always on their phones. Like they can’t even spend five minutes enjoying being outside for the first time all day, and just stand there waiting patiently for the bus? Sometimes I think someone could light themselves on fire and no one would look up from their phone!

      You make a really good point about the aspriational aspect of all this social media. We’re only seeing carefully edited glimpses into peoples lives, and it’s not reality. It’s the best version of everyone and it creates a lot of unnecessary jealousy or discontent. I’ve been noticing that as well, and it’s another reason I want to take a step back.

      Good for you for getting back into your music! I never knew you played the trumpet, too. I’ve been reading like it’s my job (we get the Sunday paper delivered and I’m making an effort to read it before recycling it when the next one comes in). You can do it, Süsk! Disconnect! Stare out the window! I take the subway most days otherwise I’d enjoy the view out the window, too. xo

  • Well said Erin, love you are making a stand. Smart phone addiction has reached epidemic proportions. Good for you to go back to your Nokia. That’s another reason why I enjoyed Aussie so much, this trend doesn’t seem to have taken hold to the degree it has here and elsewhere. We all need to make some space in our heads for more productive and enjoyable pursuits x

    • Aw, thanks Sam! Seriously, just putting the phone down at home has already allowed me to read the paper, play with my dog, finish two loads of laundry, vacuum, etc etc. It’s crazy how productive I can be when not glued to my Facebook feed! Now, if I were using that free time to work on something enjoyable, I’m sure it would be even better ;) Baby steps. xo

  • Aw, I understand this conundrum all too well. And then there’s this: I also find this over-connectedness affects my estimation of my own life too, sometimes for the worse. (Thank you, Susk.) It’s kind of, sort of, maybe why I stopped blogging. I didn’t know how else to stop the hyper-connectivity and hyper-awareness about what everyone else was doing (and I wasn’t). Clearly, I don’t have the self-control and esteem that others do. ;) I try to tell myself things don’t need to be all-or-nothing. There can be a happy medium and baby steps taken before throwing the baby out with the bath water (such as your simple solution to go back to the Nokia). Someday I’ll figure it out, or maybe I won’t and that’s ok. I’ll just dip my toe in every now and again. Go, Erin! xo

  • […] the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times yesterday? Imagine my delight when I read that my recent second attempt to disconnect and spend less time on my phone/in front of technology is actually part of a larger […]