I am extremely addicted to my phone. (Aren’t we all?) But I tend to notice just how bad the addiction is on a lazy weekend day. I will literally spend hours sitting on the couch scrolling through social media, news sites, blogs, etc. It’s a colossal waste of time. So when I was listening to a Freakonomics podcast recently, I was really struck by this quote:
He’s right! We read so much content, but how much is actually valuable? What could I be doing with my time instead? So this weekend, I had no plans on Saturday. I didn’t want to fall into the trap of scrolling through my phone and bingeing on Netflix (yes, simultaneously…sometimes I can’t even watch TV without scrolling on my phone). So I decided that I wouldn’t look at screens for an entire day. Here were the rules I made:
I can use my phone to text and call people.
I can use my phone to take photos (because I don’t own a camera).
I can use my phone to listen to music (because I no longer own any other device that plays music and my running fantasies only last 3-4 miles tops).
I actually managed to complete this challenge, but here are the six ridiculous times I tried to look at my phone.
In the middle of reading an article in the real, paper edition of the New York Times. That’s right, I was literally already reading an article and yet out of habit, I reached for my phone. TO DO WHAT? I didn’t actually pick it up so we will never know.
When I saw a full page ad in the Times from Kim Kardashian about Armenian genocide. I actually thought it was really thoughtful and I was shocked to see Kim’s name attached to it. I wanted to read what the internet had to say about it. Instead, I just had to have my own thoughts/reactions to it.
When there was a line at the farmer’s market. I was checking out this greenmarket for the first time. It was one of my “I need activities if I’m not going to look at my phone all day” excursions. As soon as I realized I’d be waiting in line for a few minutes, I reached for my phone. Instead of scrolling through Instagram, I had to people watch. Which was interesting! This little market feels very neighborhood-y and I will definitely go back!
After running. Most of my runs are before work so I usually check my email while stretching. Training for this half marathon means my morning runs have gotten longer, but I don’t necessarily do a good job of starting them earlier so I’m often panicking about being late to work while trying to make sure I still get a good stretch. But this was Saturday so there was NO reason to look at my phone!
2:00pm. So far, I’d done a good job of keeping myself busy and thus ignoring my phone (mostly). But now I was bored. I ended up just taking a nap. Totally passed out after my 8 mile run (don’t be impressed, I should be running 10 by now!) and when I woke up two hours later, it was kinda like this:
At 5:00. I literally said to myself “You ended up sleeping all afternoon. You didn’t do anything super fun or blog-worthy so maybe this challenge is silly and you should just give up.” But I am a little too competitive (even with myself) for that. So I decided to get my butt to the grocery store so I could pick up the last couple ingredients I needed to make a recipe from this cookbook. I ended up making Pumpkin Chili and it was great! Also this cookbook is hilarious. It’s called Eat Like You Give A Fuck because it’s a vegan cookbook, but it swears at you in every recipe. My favorite advice for this recipe? “If you try to make this chili with pumpkin pie filling, don’t complain about how fucked up it tastes. You did that dumb shit yourself.”
I spent the rest of the evening reading The Martian (loved it as much as I loved the movie!) and doing four loads of laundry. Was it a wildly fun Saturday? Nah. It was average. But I will say that I felt pretty good all day. Sometimes when I have a lazy day (even one that I’ve planned and very much want to have!) I feel a little bad looking at all the fun my friends are having on social media. You know, that evil FOMO thing. On this Saturday, the only time I felt bad was when mile seven of my run was uphill.