Friday, March 30, 2018

Owned by My Phone No More

I have scoffed at my family for staring at their phones all the time and then I noticed something upsetting. I’d become like them. I kept my phone nearby wherever I went and checked it often with the same ritual. I’d check all m email accounts, messages and the news app. I’d scroll through the news app and be sucked in my headlines.

The only thing I stayed away from was Facebook as I had already realized that I would get caught up scrolling through posts and time would disappear.


I became aware of what I was doing. When I really thought about it, I started to notice that most of the stories were really opinion pieces about what might happen or what something meant.

As for email, they really didn’t need to be checked that often and almost all of them on one email address are junk to be deleted. Most of the texts were not that important either unless I was awaiting hearing from someone.


I thought about all the time I was wasting looking at screens and that all the time I was thinking about what I was looking at, I could be thinking about something else.

So I decided to change. Not give up my phone completely, but not to be owned by it either. I’m not sure if it’s really an addiction or merely a habit to keep checking a phone. I have heard of people who get anxious if they can’t see their phone screen. As for me, I simply resisted the urge to look at my phone and left it in my purse or in another room. In no time I forgot about my phone and became engrossed in where I was. I also started watching less TV, too. I noticed right away that I felt happier and freer. I’m not going back


On a side note of technology - I went to the DMV to renew my license and thanks to what I heard from my blog sister Linda, got the upgraded license that I will need to get on a plane after 2020. I had an appointment so the line wasn’t that long, but when I got to the person who had to look over my application and documents, something happened to his computer and I didn’t hear everything, but he had to call somebody over to help him change his password and I guess he got locked out of the system. And I thought all that password nonsense only happened to me.

They moved me to someone else who didn’t have the same problem and she took my thumbprint. Or tried to. It took a few tries before it worked. Then it was on to the photo station where I had to identify myself with my thumb print. Numerous tries before it worked. Then I went to the written test which was on a touch computer screen now. In order to begin you have to identify yourself with your thumbprint. I had to try three different machines and none of them would accept my thumbprint and froze on that screen. Finally the last one gave up and accepted my license number. One of the three machines stopped working all together and a message came up that Internet Explorer had stopped working. The whole thumbprint plan sounds good on paper, but doesn’t seem to work that well. I had trouble with the same sort of machine in Disney World.

It all ended well. I passed my test and will get my license in the mail. I got into Disney World, too, but only when they ignored the thumbprint machine.


Linda O. Johnston said...

Glad you finally got through the process and will receive your upgraded license, but how odd that your thumbprint gave the system a hard time. You need to use that in a story somewhere!

And I understand what you mean about phones. I know I usually check mine more than I should.
In fact, my broken knee last year was the result of what I'd previously heard over and over and chose to ignore: don't walk while texting. Of course I was texting my pet-sitter from airport baggage claim to let her know we were back so I thought I had a good reason... In retrospect, I should have waited!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I was just reading about an app for a phone that keeps track of the time spent on your phone. I think you can set it to shut off, too. Same magazine had an article about a man who cut himself off from all news since the 2016 election. He had a big job with Nike and some tech stuff before, but now lives on a pig farm in Ohio. Everyone knows about his so-called blockade, so when he goes in town for his coffee, no one tells him any news. He claims it has made him happier.