Putting my phone down and instead looking up for a change
I often find myself opening up my email 2-3 seconds after closing it, as if I'm going to find something new there.
Other times I'll pick up my phone, unlock it to check the weather, and then spend 15 minutes scrolling mindlessly through Instagram.
Why do I exist in these maddening loops?
I'm a huge proponent of being present and mindful, and making sure that I'm actually existing in the moment where I'm physically standing, and not in some digital representation of it. (i.e. when I'm at a concert, I want to be at a concert-- not on Instagram telling everyone about it).
Even with this recent desire to be present, I find myself failing all the time, and retreating back to my phone like some kind of sugar addict sneaking a bite of chocolate that turns into a eating an entire thing of Oreos.
I really want to be better about this. I think it's so important to not be on my phone all the time. Lately I am conscience of the fact that when I wake up the very first thing I do is pick up a device and start tapping around on it-- whether it's my nearby iPad (that I fell asleep using), or my phone charging nearby (that I also fell asleep using). In the first fifteen minutes of my day, rather than simply waking up and thinking about my day and being grateful, I am instead tapping through a series of apps that fills my brain with a bunch of quick hit information that is now shaping my entire day.
My inbox tells me snippets of news that now has me feeling just a little helpless, since news is overwhelmingly negative. My weather app fills my head with a bunch of numbers and information about the weather today and later this week. My Instagram feed shows me all these things people were doing, filling my head with a bunch of information I don't really need. I then inexplicably open up apps like my Activity app to see the calories I've burned this month-- something I do 10 times a day, as if the number is changing that fast. Then I'm opening up like 10 to 15 other apps, sometimes even just for a second, and before I know it my brain is just filled with a bunch of information and my day already feels hectic and behind.
This isn't a life I want to lead, seriously. It's time to do something about it. My hope is that by sharing it publicly here, I will be more accountable. I've been using the app Forest to make sure I don't use my phone too often, so maybe I'll set some goals for how many trees per day I'll grow. I also just learned of the app Moment, which apparently tracks (somehow?) how often you use your phone. (My guess is it does it through the use of the accelerometer or something that indicates when the phone is being picked up versus when it's lying down away from you). And of course I have TimeTag, which I can use to keep track of my 'away from phone' time versus my 'on my phone' time, and I can keep a record of it that way.
My point is that I want to commit to using my phone less. I don't need to check email 370 times a day. I don't need to look at Instagram every spare second I have. I will keep my head up, be okay with being bored, and stop feeling like every cool thing I experience needs to be shared. I'm so tired of experiencing the world through a screen. It's OK for a moment to come and go without me capturing it and sharing it. I need to be okay with the transience of these moments. The fleeting nature of time. I will appreciate things more if I don't have this nagging need to capture and record everything.
I'll be back next week to let everyone know how it goes.