Perhaps it is just being a woman of a certain age. Perhaps it’s having grown up with a single, dial telephone in the house until I was a teenager. Maybe it’s even the fact that the internet-for-the masses didn’t really exist until I was 18 and in college, so I straddled that line between getting hand-written letters (still love them) and shiny-new emails. But, I found myself the other day, after reading yet another article about fake news, saying, “I think it’s time to remove some apps from my phone.”
I really don’t care to talk on the phone unless it’s something I absolutely have to do. There is also the fact that my phone has an annoying delay when I DO talk to people, so I just prefer written communication as it avoids the usual, “What? Oh… sorry. Go ahead. No, you go ahead. I… …well, okay. What?” I even started to look for landline service providers out here in the boonies.
But, annoyingly delayed phone conversations aside, the numerous alerts every hour were getting to me. Why did I really need to know someone had repinned something from Pinterest? Great. Good for them.
Twitter was blowing up my phone. WordPress was making inroads. Nope. I needed a break. So, off with Twitter. Out with WordPress. I’d removed Yahoo! Email some weeks before as the address I use is essentially my “junk email account” – if there is even a chance that my email address might be added to some list – they get the Yahoo! address. Pinterest still hung out – I was reluctant to remove it, anticipating future moments of boredom. I slashed and burned my way through my apps with glee.
And here’s the thing, when I forced myself to consciously take in info from those places on the computer instead of mindlessly scrolling on my phone, I was more relaxed. I paid more attention to why I was there and I found that I was better at catching myself in wiling away my time doing “nothing” when I could be doing “something”. And then I shut down the site and went and did something constructive.
Mobile phones have a lot of great qualities, but seeing the masses walking around, heads down as they stare at the screens, is not one of them. As a society, we’re becoming less connected with people in the flesh in lieu of the ubiquitous lit-up, hand-held computer. Perhaps society would be a bit nicer if we all started to actually make ourselves aware that other people exist in front of and around us instead of ignoring them, loved ones included, for whatever the newest notification is.
So, where does that leave me now? More relaxed. More aware. More present with my friends and family. And blissfully disconnected from unimportant things online… at least until I decide to log in.