Me, Myphone & I #2

#2 – Divorce for a day

Today I deliberately left my phone at home while I went to the Designlab to work. As you know, the topic of my assignment, being-in-the-world in the digital age, naturally evokes an extreme awareness of my personal digital technology use. Even though I have always considered myself relatively independent from my phone (I wasn’t connected to the mobile network up to two months ago), I noticed to my annoyance that I was checking my phone more than I liked.

There were these incidents where I put my phone face down on the desk and forced myself to start working. While seemingly reading and writing on my thesis, I was internally fighting the urge to look again and after what felt like an eternity I caved and checked my messages. Only to find out nothing new has happened and my previous message was sent only 3 MINUTES before. 3 MINUTES! It felt as if hours had passed…

I started taking stricter measures. I installed an app to block me out of certain apps. I put my phone in my bag or in a different room while working. I turned off all internet options. All these things helped to some extent where the time between check-ups was elongated and the presence of the phone in my mind lessened. However, I still felt that it was preventing me from deep concentration and flow.

So today, I went to a more extreme approach of leaving my phone at home. And for some hours I was able to work with a pretty good focus, it felt really good! However, I noticed some worrisome signs of addiction after a few hours: my hands were reaching automatically in my bag looking for the phone. It wasn’t there, obviously, so I worked further. An hour later I really started to feel stressed about missing messages and an image of my screen with a lot of notifications kept hovering before my eyes. I realized that this is not healthy and I’m alarmed as to how the phone has taken over my life. This was only during work, affecting my productivity, but there is social life, traveling, me-time, etc. What are the effects in these areas of my life?

I left my phone at home this morning at 9 o’clock. It is 4 PM now and I’m back home (couldn’t resist anymore) and have missed only 30 messages… Really, what is so addictive in this thing? Help…