My phone has been really bugging me lately. This gleaming iPhone 6 happily encased in an expensive pink Otter Box with a shatterproof glass protective screen shield is ruining my life. Well, maybe not ruining it, but certainly stealing some of it. My brain is constantly craving that little glowing screen.
I can’t be the only one that this happens to. I sit on the floor to play with my little one, and five minutes later, I’m sitting there, phone in hand, eyes glued to it, and Des is playing by himself. Granted, that’s ok (I think) at this age. He’s figuring out how books work, and pulling the stacking bowls apart, and pretty much happy. But I’m not. I only get so much time with this ten month old, why do I feel the need to look at stupid things on Instagram instead? I was worried, when I gave up breastfeeding for pumping, that I would lose all of that precious bonding time, so I made a rule then and there that I would not be on my phone or iPad when I was feeding my baby a bottle. I was really determined to make bottle feeding and rocking a bonding and important time for us, and it has been. I think it’s time to make some more rules like that.
I don’t want him to remember a mom that was always paying attention to something else. That would stop whatever she was doing with him to look at a little device because it made a vibrating noise. It’s bad. Sometimes my phone isn’t even in my pocket and my pants vibrate and I have to pat myself down before I realize it was nothing. If I’m not specifically paying attention to what I’m doing, I will pick up my phone and start playing a game or reading Twitter before I even realize what I’m doing. I’m sure it’s a symptom of the larger problem, too. Are we all doing this? Are none of us paying attention to anything any more? I know I’m not the first person to point this out, and I know there are a million good things about having a computer more powerful than the one I took to college in my pocket, but there has to be a way to fix it. If you’re wondering if I have the balls to get rid of my phone, the answer is no.
Ok, I’m about to admit something pretty embarrassing and possibly bad. I use my phone to help my son fall asleep. I can’t stop doing it because it works like a charm. He has a bottle and we cuddle, then he sits on my lap, leaning back against me with my right arm around him, and with my left hand I play a game on my phone, he watches me play for a few minutes and falls asleep. I don’t know what to do. I feel like it’s a crutch and it’s bad for him and I’m setting him up to always need a screen to fall asleep (not unlike his mom). But it works, so I keep doing it. Help.
My phone is like being at the beck and call of every person in the world. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email, text messages, phone calls and god knows what else send vibrating notifications to my hip, demanding that I do something about them. Remember when the only time your phone would ring was when someone was calling you with their real voice? And it was usually your mom? Hell, remember not having a cell phone? Everyone in the world does not deserve my beck and call, not at the expense of being with my son. Or my husband. Or my friends. Or any real life human being. Or, jeez, even myself. When I have a porch beer after getting the little one to bed and it’s 80 degrees out and breezy and it’s ten o’clock at night, and kinda quiet, and lovely outside, and I’m by myself, WHY DO I STARE AT MY PHONE?
There has to be a fix. No, I can’t give up my phone. I like talking to people on Twitter. I like reading blog posts, and being able to look up stuff instantly. Shopping with my grocery list app, bar codes for coupons, store club card bar codes, is so nice. It’s quaint when I see other shoppers with a list and a pencil. I could name a million reasons why I won’t give up my phone. But how can I learn to just put it down? Seriously. The only idea I can think of for now is leave it in the other room more often. I can even leave the ringer up so if actual human voices call me I can go get it. And turn off almost all my notifications. And practice, I suppose. Lots and lots of practice. But I really need to get this monkey off my back. If it gets any worse, I might go back to the idea of getting rid of it. I’d save a lot of money.