I was mostly just trying to stop looking at my phone so often in front of my child. Again. Because the sweet, tiny rush we get from that small screen is so tempting, and I do slide back even after seeing the benefits, feeling the benefits, writing a blog post about the benefits of putting that thing down.
So I made a list of ten ways I could stop looking at my phone so much.
And one of them has turned me into a reader--a real reader--for maybe the first time in my life. (The shouts of jubilation you hear in the background may be coming from my mother, the single most voracious reader I have ever known. Which is saying something.)
This is the one: "10. Take a book with me wherever I go and read it instead of looking at my phone."
I'm writing this and thinking it sounds embarrassingly simple. And it is. But it has worked. For me. For months now. Maybe it won't work for you, but really I hope you try it because maybe it will work for you, and if it does: YES!
You have to make sure a book is everywhere you usually mindlessly scroll through your phone, though. In line waiting to pay for something, waiting for the Board member you're meeting for lunch, nursing your child in the early hours, taking a little extra time in the bathroom, standing at the kitchen counter for a quick phone hit while your kids are momentarily in the other room. All those places.
Reading more was not my goal. But it has been a huge, unexpected gift. I'm reading books about writing and books about mortality and books about mindfulness and gorgeous, astonishing books of fiction. I have no more time than I had before, but now I get to read maybe a book a week. Just because I'm not looking at my phone so damn much.
I don't know. Suddenly, I'm wondering if you're all reading a book a week anyway and that seems like pretty small potatoes to you. I'm going to let that thought go. Maybe one of you would find a book a week as astonishing in your life as I find it in mine.
I do realize that I'm substituting an addiction to one input (my phone) with an addiction to another input (books). My husband keeps finding my library books tucked into strategic spots around the house. But somehow I'd rather model having my nose in a book than having my nose in my phone.
I'd love to know what you're thinking about The Phone these days.