so...now that you have your iphone 6...and your screen is larger, your ability to store things increased, apple pay is on the horizon, and, let’s face it, your cool factor just jumped by a thousand...it’s time to take a breath.
seriously, put the phone down (even if it isn’t a new one) and take a breath. or two. or three.
if you’ve known me or read this blog for very long you know that a favorite “doreen-ism” is:
IT IS EASIER TO ESTABLISH HEALTHY NORMS THAN TO BREAK BAD HABITS.
it’s true. ask anyone who smokes or eats emotionally or can’t seem to stop accessing porn. it likely would have been easier to have never started than to try to stop. when we embark on a new behavior, pursuit, or activity we rarely do so with the intent of becoming absolutely obsessed. dependence is not frequently something we seek out. instead, it creeps up on us. slowly. without our noticing.
your brand new (or even very old) phone comes equipped with a gazillion kinds of message indicators. it can track your distances traveled, deliver push notifications that miraculously deliver starbucks coupons right as you approach a brick and mortar location, deliver stories that are right up your ally, and let you know when anyone, anywhere has tried to reach you via any number of platforms. this wonderful new friend comes ready to wake you in the morning, entertain you while in line, dim it’s screen to fit whatever lighting you’re in, connect you to the world, and, basically, fulfill your every wish.
your body, too, comes with many kinds of message indicators. yawns when you are tired, stiffness when you need to stretch or run or do some push ups, hunger pangs when you need to eat, flutters when you feel excited or scared or stimulated, tears when you feel sad or, sometimes, even happy.
the trouble is, many of us are habituating ourselves to being more attentive to the message indicators that buzz and chime and alert us via phone than to those that come from our bodies. we have a hard time letting an external message indicator go untended and yet we ignore our yawns and pangs and feelings for days on end. the more we do so the more we live into the habit of letting the locus of control for our actions, thoughts, and emotions live outside of our selves. while there are some positive outcomes in this way of living i believe that the negatives far outweigh them. is being hyper available and having a well developed ability to task switch (otherwise known, in my thinking, as being distractible) worth the boredom intolerance, self centricity, and dis-embodiment that results from being more connected to the thing in our pocket than the person who is our self?
so think carefully (or even just for a minute) about the norms by which you would like to interact with this shiny new bff. consider, how might you keep tabs on the way in which you attach to it? ponder, in what ways will it make your life better and in what ways might your engagement with it put you in harms or habits way(s)? as you do so, be mindful of how you might develop norms before habits evolve. set limits before boundless engagement sets the course. find ways of letting the message indicators of your body, mind, and soul be at least as loud as those coming from that brand new retina hd, high contrast, dual domain pixelated, 4.7/5.5 inch screen.