The GGA Project -- Day #90 "Left Behind"

In what was probably the biggest splurge of my life, I bought an iPhone about 5 months ago.  At the time, I wasn't even all that excited about apps or anything.  I just liked the idea of a smart phone that would let me access e-mail and that allowed me to type out texts without the pain of multi-letter digit madness.  Also, iPhones are just pretty--so sleek and simple.

For a while (and by a while I mean maybe a week or so), I managed to avoid developing the attachment to my phone that so many people warned against.  If anything, I was addicted to Angry Birds and would steal away little moments to fling birds at piggies, but it wasn't something I couldn't live without, even for long stretches of time (and by long stretches I mean four hours, max).

Before long, however, I was hooked.  I got tuned into the phone's every noise, responding to each with the consistency of Pavlov's dogs.  I answered every text immediately and jumped to check out every Facebook update or e-mail my phone sent through.

Before I got my new phone, I'd considered working hours to be for working alone, left my phone in my purse in my locker, and was genuinely curious/annoyed by my co-workers' clinically diagnosable attachments to their phones.  It awed me that people could not live two hours without access to communication with the world outside.  That is, of course, until I became one of them.

I tuck my phone into a cozy little spot in a drawer I have to access all the time anyway, so I can get my little fix without behaving in ways that are too odd.  Typing that now I feel like The Biggest Loser (in the loser sense, not the fatty sense).

A few days ago I recognized that I was beginning to get mentally annoyed with customers for coming into the bank and interrupting my all important text conversations.

Whoah.  That belonged in the "You Know You've Crossed a Line When..." file.  Time to make a change.

Today's New Activity: Restricting iPhone Access, Reclaiming Sanity

It probably helped that I only worked a four-hour shift today, allowing me to ween myself slowly and with fewer jitters of withdrawal.  But still I have to say it was tough.  I admit I've gotten a bit of the affliction I see in people about 5 years younger than me and younger---those who had cell phones through their high school years.  It has become increasingly more difficult for me to focus on only one thing at a time.  I am more easily bored than I used to be, and have been spending less and less time just sitting quietly and thinking...one of my favorite former hobbies.

While I never want to be completely out-of-the-loop, or a luddite, I appreciate and admire the people I know who can still be happy with a slower, more thoughtful pace, and who don't constantly have the need to be plugged into something;  I'm striving to get back to that point myself.

Leaving my phone behind today was a good exercise.  Responding to the phone's noises and answering texts all the time is a pretty unsatisfying and even stressful way to go through the day.  With my phone far, far away, I was able to focus all my attention on the people around me, on the extra things I could be doing in between customers, and on the big bag of Almond Hershey Kisses Geisell had left up for grabs.  Much nicer way to pass an afternoon...


  1. Smartphones are too crazy. I noticed the same problem in me like 6 months ago, so I took the first step, which was leaving the phone in the car when I went shopping, or sometimes even when hanging out with friends. It is truly an addiction, and needs to be managed.

  2. Oh, but I pretty much always read your blog on Google Reader on my phone.

  3. I had the unfortunate experience of watching an Important Person in our district fall from grace (in my eyes, anyway) when, in between visiting my students' job sites, a phone was whipped out, and mad texting ensued. I don't know, I suppose because I am old-fashioned, but I felt two things simultaneously: discounted and insignificant, and also, mightily pissed. I am one of those Luddites who refuse to carry a cell phone at all except on car trips alone, for emergency purposes only. Otherwise, I think cell phones should be tossed into the (currently tsunami-wild) ocean. All of them. Because people don't look each other in the eyes anymore, and I think eyes are Extremely Telling.