Yesterday started strangely for me. Why? Well, yesterday I forgot my iPhone and left it at home all day. I could picture exactly where it was; sitting on the side table, laughing at me. “Weak human,” it would probably have said, “try to live a day without me.”
Not having my attention buried in Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed, Engadget (or any of a number of other items plucked straight from the Master Procrastinator’s toolkit) meant that I had a chance to learn a little about myself.
1) I still know how to use a pen. However it should be mentioned that my handwriting was awful before and has probably gotten worse. Writing upstairs on a bus probably didn’t help either. You know how some professionals (doctors, psychologists, lawyers, etc) use a kind of coded shorthand for their notes and journals? My handwriting is just like that all of the time, but there isn’t a key to decipher it. It’s a little like trying to read the handwriting of a child who has just learned a foreign language; you recognize some letters, but there are just no recognizable words.
2) I really enjoy writing in a notebook. Despite my atrocious handwriting, I get a real kick out of seeing words on a page. I think it has something to do with the idea of permanence. Once I’ve written on the page, that’s where it stays. I could write it again or photocopy the page, but I can’t change what’s already been committed to the original paper and no duplicate I could write would ever be exactly the same. When I type on a phone, iPad or computer I can copy and paste all day long (although that would be a rather inefficient day).
3) I’m a bit like one of those crazy people that watches everyone and everything around me. I was being incredibly judgmental about some of the parking attempts made nearby (this might have something to do with having just failed my first driving test, maybe). A lady was debating whether a sibling should be given an iPad as a present or not, but I missed the resolution because the bus arrived (I was rooting for the kid). Had I a Twitter timeline to peruse, I’d have missed all of this.
4) My attention span is not what it once was. I guess years of jumping from timeline to newsfeed and back again will do that to you. I don’t even know if I’d be able to read a whole book. I like to think that I could, but…
5) I spend a lot of time travelling to and from work. When I’m focused on something like news or notifications, I don’t pay attention to how long my journey actually is. That travel time can be a lot more effective if I would just use it right.
Now let’s be honest. I already knew some of this stuff. I just don’t acknowledge it because I’m so regularly distracted. Part of me thinks that I should leave my phone at home more often. Unfortunately, that part of me is always shouted down by the other side of my brain that believes the phone’s lies.
“Live without me?” the phone would snarl, “unlikely.” Every once in a while, I’d like to prove it wrong. Even if only for a day.