Unnecessary Distractions

When is the last time you checked Facebook? Just now? Five minutes ago? Lunchtime?

It’s been a full half-hour for me, but only because I just woke up from a nap. I’d estimate that I rarely go more than three minutes at home without checking my iPhone.

Why? I’m not expecting anything important. In fact, when I do receive important messages, they don’t get addressed immediately and may even be forgotten. To avoid thinking about the constant barrage of updates from Facebook, email, text messages and apps, most notifications are handled by my subconscious, labeled as unimportant and promptly ignored. A few hours later I’ll realize, oh, I never replied to that message about dinner!

My phone wasn’t supposed to be a mental nuisance. I spent years dreaming about how much more productive, efficient and entertained I would be with a smart phone. I could look up the best local restaurants on the go and track my eating habits while I was there. I could fill otherwise wasted time reading an informative article or writing my next blog post. I would have instant access to anyone in the world via phone, text message, Facebook, Twitter, Skype…

Instead, I’ve allowed my phone to tie me down, putting unwanted demands on my time. I could be having a face-to-face conversation, if I wasn’t so concerned with writing my next Facebook update. I could be doing creative thinking, if I wasn’t busy correcting a complete stranger who is wrong on the Internet. I would have a few minutes of peaceful reflection, if I didn’t have the urge to check my notifications one more time, just in case someone somewhere clicked the “Like” button.

It’s time this nonsense stopped. I’m shutting off mail push notifications to my phone – I lived without them for years, and I don’t see any use for them now. I’m setting a schedule for checking my email – something I did with great success before I got the iPhone. I’ve uninstalled all of the worthless games and other apps that were constantly notifying me of worthless information. And finally, I’ll be making a conscious effort to leave my phone in my pocket, in my car or in my room, out of sight and out of mind.

For the record, smartphones do have their uses; here are 30 physical objects a smartphone replaces. Have an opinion on this subject? Hit reply and let me know what you think! Once again, thanks for reading!