It started last week out of frustration.
Charging my phone all night, then charging it back up in the afternoon, the battery would die each day in the evening. Most times when I was at an event, and needed to check in, or actually make the rare phone call.
The added bonus is that it started going wonky. Taking too long to load apps. Too long to change screens. Not recognizing that I was trying to swipe something. I mean, what could be worse than waiting 10 seconds for a screen to change? So I emptied the cache, and deleted the apps that had piled up, and cleared the memory as much as I knew how, etc etc. Still wonky.
That Saturday a friend came over from out of town to share
some relationship burdens with me.
It so happened that that same day another out of town was over.
We spent the morning in an adorable breakfast shop next to the natural pond listening to each other’s stories. A couple of hours later, poor waiter, we moved to the parking lot. This is when the advice started.
You know, it seems like the root of the problem, is seeing things on FB that are upsetting, or having folks see your posts and pictures.
We gave advice on how to block, unsubscribe, make lists, create boundaries in who can see posts, etc. We rattled on about our individual experiences when we deleted our account. Mine was to get rid of my gardening app. I spent more time worrying about watering strawberries every four hours than I did about anything in real life. Yes, a month break and starting fresh changed our perspectives. You should do it, we advised.
The next day, Sunday, I decided the last thing to do was to factory reset my phone. I had started it in the morning, and only loaded my Blue Letter Bible App for church. I’m not sure how to describe it, but my phone felt lighter. Physically lighter. How much do apps and memory weigh? ha.
The boys wanted to surf, so I loaded our local buoy app and Magic Seaweed. I like taking photos for Instagram, so I loaded that and made a photo with my camera, IG, gallery and Google Photos.
I paused, when I thought about loading FB. Or the other half dozen ‘check in’ apps. Enjoy the day. A few hours without your phone chirping.
I check in for ‘work’. See if someone has sent me a FB Msg message. See if there is a question on a forum, or a response that needs answered. I check to see if someone has posted afternoon activities to join. I peek and see if the kids have posted photos of their adventures. Peek. Peek. Peek. But I am a HORRIBLE thumb typer. I cut off the corner of one thumb last December, and still do not have feeling in it. It is the exact spot my thumb hits the screen. At the stop light? Two lights til is my turn to go through? Peek. Pot needs 2 minutes til it gets another stir? Peek. Lull in the conversation? Let me check my ‘work’. Sitting at the beach not taking photos? (It happens) Peek.
The second day without the apps, I was gone morning til dark. I came home to a pile of notifications. It took me all of 10-15 minutes to answer each one in a thoughtful manner. 10 minutes. I wonder how much time I’d log if I clocked into each “peek” throughout the day. It also simmered down some emotions. It is hard for an empathetic person to categorize the hurts in others. It forced me to gather a few phone numbers of friends I only communicate with through FB Msg.
I loaded my Kindle account with books, and filled a bag full of spines. Charged up the dusty Kindle Fire for easier reading. I’ve read two books this week. I’ve said for the past year I haven’t ‘had time’ to read other than a chapter at night. Hmmmm.
And that led to a conversation (on FB) this morning, that led to this blog post –
With the world of all information instantly at our fingertips – how much are we training our minds for snacks? Ever ask a random question in a crowd? 4-5 people draw their phones out like we’re at the OK Corral at high noon. Google quickly spits out an answer, and we’re all happy again. We found the answer!!! Yee haw.
As we move on to the next round of learning here at the Petra School – and we’ve had a summer season of testing for both boys – I think my brain got turned around and focused on the easiest way to find the answer. Is finding the answer the most important thing in life? Who can find the answer the fastest?
The testing that my 9th grade son took, was 6 hours of reading questions, and a quickly timed course of finding the right answer the fastest. They measured his intelligence this way. Is he Google? Ha. The test results says – probably not. giggle.
I even talked to a high school principal about maybe having him in class two periods a day, just before football practice, so he can practice his mental Google skills. But it felt wrong. And this morning – I feel the difference.
I’ve known all summer that he needed to switch to intentional reading. Soaking. Pondering. I wrote about it yesterday. More literature. Less Google.
I feel so full and satisfied this week. And so it seems for me I have tasted the difference. More literature. Less Google.