Flash Blog: Dare to Be Distraction-Free

Flash Blog: Dare to Be Distraction-Free

What do we do when our connectivity to the outside world disappears for a slew of hours? We get a lot done, that’s what. I never realized just how tied to my phone I’ve become. And this is not something I care to admit.


You see, I make fun of people that sit chatting on the phone in a restaurant while their guests across the table eat their food glumly, appearing to be completely resolved with the fact that their company finds the person on the phone much more delightful than them. And I understand that sometimes we feel we must chat on the phone as we’re traveling to get somewhere, but let’s at least do the dialing before we hit the road, folks, and invest in a handsfree set, please. You drivers who creep to the right and then to the left and then back to the right: you are not as talented with your phone dexterity as you might think.


For me, the other day was about having no phone. At all. Like the primitive times. Back in the 1980s. The charge on my Galaxy4 was shot and guess who forgot her phone charger when she landed at her offsite workplace for a long stint? Yep, me. Anticipating the long commute home ahead, I dwelled on my everpresent fear that my phone will crap out at exactly the wrong moment  — when I actually need it. So given my circumstances, I had to make that dreaded decision…risk what little charge remained by leaving the phone turned on or turn off my phone completely — for the WHOLE day. Gasp!


I did the latter. It wasn’t easy. I even watched the little logo disappear as it confirmed with the judgmental prompt, “Chris, are you really sure you want to totally disconnected from the world…and most importantly, from Twitter?” Reluctantly, I confirmed “yes” and powered off. Anything to salvage what few bars remained.


But I didn’t anticipate how the rest of me would react.


My body is so trained to reach over to the phone every 10 or 15 minutes to take a quick gander. Any new messages? Stars? Breaking news? So, of course, I continued to do this and every time, I was greeted with…well, darkness. It was turned off, remember? Like a drooling Pavlovian pooch, I continued to do this for several hours until finally by the afternoon, I started to do something I had not done before.


I forgot about my phone. And I know this may sound incredulous, but… I was okay.


It made me think about how just five years ago, I would have gone through the day and thought nothing of being “pulled away from the world.” I was used to staying focused and attentive to one or two things at a time, but without this constant distraction hanging over me from multiple channels all tuned into this one little distracting device, sucking me in like Alice to her all-too-tempting Wonderland. Yet now, I let myself become distracted all the time. I’m constantly embarking on excursions to the rabbit hole. But I don’t think I realized just how distracted I had allowed myself to become until I had a workday of no distraction. How much more work would I get done if I disconnected during the day all the time? Hmm.


I think I might leave my phone charger home again tomorrow.  ~ Chris

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