And Then My Phone Blew Up

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I have a smartphone.

{I don’t say that to impress you.  You probably do, too.}

I was fairly late to the technology party, but now I’m not sure how I could possibly live without it.  What are my email passwords?  No idea.  Messages just magically show up on my phone.  What is my husband’s phone number?  Not totally sure.  I just tap the picture of his face and it calls him.  When is that trip scheduled again?  Let me check.  What’s the address to the place we’re going?  Hold on a sec.  I got it.

It’s nice, but I’ll admit it can also be exhausting.  The constant connection makes it hard to ever be completely “off duty” – even if you’re just looking to be off duty from your personal Facebook and email accounts.

So last Friday we headed north and spent a long weekend in Canada.  To say getting out of town was stressful would be an understatement.  But we did it.  And while waiting in line at the border crossing I got out my phone, shut it down, and put it away.

End of story.

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Until Monday afternoon, when we were sitting in line again waiting to re-enter the U.S.  I powered up my phone and set it aside.

And then it blew up.

Twitter and Instagram and Text Messages, Oh my!

The thing was beeping and dinging and vibrating left and right.  When it finally settled down, I picked it up.

Now let’s be clear here.  I don’t have a gigantic, widely-read blog.  And I don’t spend all day text messaging or entertaining a huge volume of emails.  But after 36 hours out of the country, my phone made it clear that my technological tools had felt neglected.

So I sifted through all the notifications, deleting marketing emails, foregoing catching up on whatever my Facebook friends did all weekend, and responding to the few messages that were actually critical.  In all honesty, it didn’t really take long with focused attention.

But you know what I noticed while I going through my phone?  Stress.  Urgency.

Which, by the way, were based in nothing else other than the fact that my phone told me I needed to take action.

Simply crossing back over the border threw me right back in the frantic pace I had left behind a few days before.  Those disconnected days were so slow, so long, so full, and so undistracted.

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It was so easy to be present.

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And despite that time rejuvenating my soul, the refreshment didn’t even last until the time we pulled back into our driveway.

Thanks, smartphone.  You’re very helpful.

So now I’m trying something new.  I’m trying to find balance with my phone.  I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do it, but it will probably be along the lines of keeping it stored out of sight with the volume down for good portions of the day.

Other suggestions are welcome.  Please.

Life is busy enough, I don’t need a phone adding to the frantic pace with false warnings of impending doom if I don’t address the CONSTANTLY BLINKING LITTLE LIGHT THAT BECKONS ME.

I’d rather have the peace that I felt when I went without it.

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Without having to actually, you know, go without it.

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4 thoughts on “And Then My Phone Blew Up

  1. I found that just turning off most notifications (especially push-through) eased my phone stress. It’s one of those things I can’t live without (but sometimes can’t live with).

  2. You could try deleting Facebook, Twitter, etc. off your phone and only getting on those sites when you are in front of an actual computer. Also, turning off push notifications is a must. I tell my phone what to do, and not vice versa (at least that is what I tell myself) 🙂 Good luck!

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