Smartphones are amazing things. What would be considered a super computer not that long ago in the palm of your hand.
The ablility to send a Tweet around the world. The ability to send a Facebook message to all your friends and followers. Amazing apps, games, messaging ….
You know you can turn them off. No, seriously you can.
My phone died on Tuesday afternoon. Put it in my coat pocket, went to fix my car and then weird squares on the bottom left.
I went to the Great Lost Bear for mac and cheese and beer and it wouldn’t work. I tried removing the Otterbox (which has a horrible design on the Galaxy S4 that already broke from Thanksgiving with loose rubber and breaking plastic that doesn’t seal), and changing the battery but the problem continued.
I want to tweet and message about the the first date going on next to me. It did seem to be going relatively well and I think they will have a second date, not sure if it will be a long-term relationship, but they will likely be friends.
I also tried the crazy mix at Great Lost Bear that is mac and cheese, topped with baked beans, topped with cole slaw and then three fried pickles in a mason jar. It was good but I think wicked farty.
Yesterday, I didn’t really miss my phone that much. I was mainly zoning out and watching stuff like “Orange is the New Black” (which is awesome.)
Usually at work I use my phone more. I check in with my wife, I use it to listen to music since I lost my iPod a few weeks ago, and I play smartphone games (been addicted to FIFA 14).
But the Galaxy is down for the count and the SD card is missing from my old Evo so most of the apps don’t work.
So on my downtime I read more. Read a bunch of the April “The Bollard” (easily my favorite free paper in town and favorite newspaper considering the Portland Press Herald kind of sucks these days.) And I read quite a bit of the 2013 Entertainment Weekly with the 100 best of all time. Really “My Dark Twisted Fantasy” by Kanye West is the 8th best album of all time, really? Between Aretha Franklin and “Pet Sounds” by the Beach Boys, really?
And as much as I love Woody Allen and adore Annie Hall, I just don’t like Manhattan **, I have tried multiple times but it’s just ridiculous. Why would he really fall for Muriel Hemingway’s HS character, does he have some weird thing for young girls?
But, when I left work I felt like my mind was working on writing ideas. That I wasn’t as distracted all day. That I had a very good day.
So, I am getting my phone back on Monday, ok a replacement phone, but I think I will just turn it off more. I really don’t need to keep checking Facebook or Twitter or FIFA 14. It’s a weapon of mass distraction.
I am ADDish enough without it.
So, I hope to read more and smartphone less.
One of the things I love about my retreat every Memorial Day weekend in the Berkshires is that phones and the internet don’t work. I engage with people more. I don’t hear the traffic. I hear the running water, hear the birds tweeting their songs, not the clatter of millions in under 140 characters. I experience the green and beauty of a sacred place. It’s magic.
I have been feeling the need for a smartphone vacation. I miss my old Evo dying of battery faster. The Galaxy is too good at being a mini-computer. The Google Chrome works too well. Sometimes it runs better than my laptop at home.
So, I don’t think I will disconnect, but I will connect less. People are much more important than devices, if you find you can’t ignore your phone at a poetry reading, turn it off. If you can’t ignore your phone while having lunch or dinner with someone, turn it off. Seriously. If you want to connect it will still be there. If you really want to connect with actual people you should turn if off.
Seriously. Try it!
C’mon. Try it!
I know you don’t believe you can, but your public can wait. Especially if you have to pay attention to the road.
Be safe. Be mindful,