Working at The GC News-Gazette the past few months has been nothing short of an experience. When I accepted the job, I would have never imagined that my co-workers would end up becoming a couple of my closest friends. With that being said, friends are pretty good about noticing things, both good and bad, that you may have not noticed before; these two made me well aware of my excessive cell phone usage.
Naturally, the only way to handle this situation was with a bet: 24 hours with my phone out of sight, and only slightly out of mind. In retrospect, an entire day without your phone doesn’t really sound like a big deal (and it really isn’t), but it’s only then you realize it was attached to you like an extra limb. While I would never admit this to Matt, the instigator, the first part of my day was a little rough. I kept reaching for a phone that was not there to check the time, new messages, if the thing was still working. Once it finally settled with me that my portal to the electronic world would not be with me for the remainder of the day, the bet became a relief instead of a challenge.
The less I felt compelled to check my phone, the more I could focus on my day. I love talking as much as anyone else, but I could focus more on the conversations happening in front of me. I didn’t feel the need to check my phone at stoplights or put down my book after every chapter to see what was happening on Snapchat or Twitter. While the time I spent on my phone wasn’t happening all at once, the two-second habitual push of the home button adds up greatly over the course of a day, and you can miss a lot of beautiful things that make up the world around you.
Now, don’t get the idea that I’m telling you to throw your cell off a cliff (though it may actually not be a bad idea), just make sure you keep your priorities in check and take in every thing you can without distraction. No doubt it will boost your morale in one way or another.
Here, I will put aside my pride and love of a challenge and thank my friends because without our unique dynamic that is heavily saturated good-natured banter, I would still be living with my nose mostly in my phone and a book, and barely peeking at the real world. Now, it’s equal parts in a book and in the real world. Those two would probably be much easier to assimilate. Baby steps, right?