Life gets in the way

I feel time more accurately now. Its passing, getting away, from me; what has been, what could have been, and what is yet to come, all wrapped up in time, and its nonchalant passing. Part growing older, part paying more attention to time. When time finally runs out, I wonder, would I be okay with how it run out? How I let it run out? I can’t save time, but I am hoping it can save me.

I need to download an app for work, so I turn my dumb smartphone smart again. Time spent scrolling creeps up. My phone and I become reacquainted again. My phone is with me constantly. I could just you know… but I won’t. It’s fun to lose time, lose mind, on mindless, endless content. Scroll, scroll, scroll. Dopamine, dopamine, dopamine. Ignore the voice saying ‘oh, but it is so much better paying attention to life.’ Yeah, but it’s not as fun.

I can’t believe it has been over a decade of trying to unplug, disconnect, get offline, and I am still here. Thank god, I am not where I used to be, but how am I still here? Knowing is half the battle, perfection is the enemy of progress, etc. Whatever.

Life gets in the way.

There are days it would be easier to just give in. Embrace the noise, join in on the fun. Would it be so bad to be where everyone is? I have dreams where I am back on social media, I wake up and I am relieved. I know what is good for me. I don’t want to give in, at least not yet. I feel time is still on my side, and it’s time for yet another digital detox.

There are many ways to do a digital detox, from Screen Free Saturdays, to Unplugged Weekends, and 30-day Digital Detox challenges. I prefer a radical lifestyle change approach. After a week or so of digital binge, I start with what I know works; remove the temptation all together. I start with turning my phone back to a dumb phone. They don’t call it a slot-machine in our pocket for nothing; it is portable and addictive; a deadly combination.

I also try and really remember how good it feels to unplug and immerse my senses in reality, and how gross I feel when mindlessly scrolling and consuming digital junk for hours. I try to stay with the feeling; the good and the bad. It’s enough to get myself to commit to time spent offline.

The best part is how quickly the brain adapts to being unplugged; just as quickly as it adapts back to the digital hellscape. After a few days, it feels normal again to work, cook, clean, use the bathroom, without scrolling. I don’t reach for my phone every second, fill every available time plugged into the noise, feel irritated when I can’t find my phone. I feel time passing; sitting still. I prefer it this way.

Until next time,

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