Friday, 15 February 2013

Week 7 Update: Filling in the pauses.

Well, well, well. A week is not sufficient to break this mindless-ness habit! In week 7, I set out to crack my phone addiction. I think I'm part way there, but I have a way to go.

I tried the silent technique – what a gem. With my phone on silent and turned face down on the bench (instead of in my pocket or next to me wherever I go), I felt a much lighter pull to check it. When I was playing with my son, eating dinner, talking to my husband, there was no opportunity to be interrupted by rings and beeps (well, not from my phone anyway). When my phone hasn't been on silent, I've worked on resisting the urge to rush to it immediately when its rings and beeps call my name.

Of course, there have been times when my 'old' ways have fought and won – the urge was strong and my will was not. I'm comfortable with baby steps, and I'd be kidding myself and everyone else if I set out to be perfect. And you know what? I don't actually want to be disconnected from my phone. I had some really important conversations this week. I spoke with friends, I organised stuff for our move … I connected when I wanted and needed to.

Perhaps what am aiming for isn't so much 'switching off' as it is 'tuning in' – becoming a mindful user of my mobile phone. I should be in control of my usage – not that nagging urge that comes from 'addiction'!

One thing I'm loving about these challenges is the way they're able to show me a little of myself. This week I've noticed that I tend to struggle more with my challenges when I'm tired. The more tired I get, the more restless I seem to become, and the more tempting it is to drop into mindless habits. Along with that comes the need to 'fill in the pauses'. It's like I've lost the ability to do nothing. As soon as I have a moment that seems 'idle', I seek to fill it – and it's often with a quick look at my phone. I know I have a problem when I'm sitting in traffic or at a red light and it seems like a good opportunity to check my emails …  

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