Phones and Distractions

I’m addicted to my phone. I think most of us are and don’t even think about it. If I leave the house, my phone is on me. It’s part of the trifecta that also includes my wallet and keys (without which I wouldn’t get far anyway).

A few days ago, I went out to get brunch at Dunkin’ Donuts (because I’m a classy motherfucker) and decided to leave my phone at home to charge since it had discharged quite a bit from my bed surfing and I would need it for coffee shop surfing later. I don’t have a problem.

It was at Dunkin’ Donuts that it struck me that, “Oh shit, I don’t have my phone.” I actually stuck my hand in my pocket looking for it, being fully cognizant of the fact that I didn’t bring it. It’s actually become a reflex at this point. I had a mini panic attack for a second realizing that, “Yes, you don’t have a phone. You have to eat your sandwich and drink your coffee without looking at what high school nobodies are doing on Facebook or what hilarious Winter Olympic jokes somebody with a dick for an avatar is tweeting.”

After I realized that I was still breathing, it was actually refreshing not having my phone. As I looked around, I saw a cutie with a booty sitting with her friend. An elderly couple were talking about CAT scans and road salt. I saw a dog sitting in a car in the parking lot. But mostly, I got to just sit there with my thoughts. I don’t think people in our generation really leave themselves alone to their thoughts very much anymore. We’re surrounded by so much superfluous and readily accessible bullshit around us that there’s little motivation to. The only times I really have to my own thoughts anymore are in bed (when I’m not on my damn phone), in the car (when I’m not doing my best death growl impression), in the shower (see: in the car), and when I get the inclination to write. I think that phones are harmful to the soul. It’s good to just sit once in a while and contend with your own thoughts, rather than dive towards the nearest distraction you can get your hands on.

Try going out to a public place without your phone and just sit there for 20 minutes. And don’t bring a friend. Friends are just distractions with a pulse; this is an experiment to actually reach inside yourself. Let your mind wander where it wants to. Think about life. Think about people. Maybe you haven’t talked to them in a while. Would you be happy to see them? Have an internal dialogue with them. What would you say? How would they reply?  Think about deep meaningful shit to tweet about later when you get home and finally get to cradle your precious phone again. Experience actual consciousness. Realize that you’re a human being on this big rock floating in space in the middle of the galaxy and realize that you’re alive. You are alive.

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