No more shooting birds or forming words

Just the other day as I was happily playing ‘Words with Friends’ on my iphone, it dawned upon me that that I have been spending too much time on my iphone apps. Granted, they are useful time-fillers while standing in a queue or waiting for a friend, yet I find that these time-fillers are slowly becoming “time-stealers” for me. A spare minute here or a free moment there, and I will find myself instinctively reaching out for my iphone and tweedling around with my apps — either killing some monsters or shooting some planes or playing some word-scramble-scrabble-boggle-type game. And I’m glad I am realizing this early on (less than 3 months since I got my iphone).

My friend once described her iphone as an ‘appendage’ that seems to be perpetually fixed in her palm. We’ve become so used to having our smartphones around us that we feel ‘lost’ when we leave home without them. Like a social crutch, mobile phones and smartphones have suddenly become indispensable — something to occupy our hands when we are out in public or to fiddle with when we are bored. The following situations must strike us familiar: a couple having dinner in a restaurant with both people texting furiously away; people staring at their phones as if the phones might somehow magically disappear from their hands; iphone users sliding their fingers left, up, down, diagonally, zig-zag-ly on their phone screens (interesting, you can actually guess what apps they are using just from their finger movements =)

In a world which is already pulling us in so many different directions and calling for our attention from so many quarters, I figured that I needed to resist the allure of having to check my phone every half-hour to see if my friends have played the next move in my game of chess or if there have been any recent ‘Likes’ on my Facebook page. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t find these apps interesting, fun or even useful, but I have come to the knowledge that they break my flow of attention and thought (often abruptly) in a way which reading a book or an online article do not. So I guess I have to decide…that there shall be no more shooting birds or forming words.

No more!

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~ by irwin on May 27, 2011.

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