A few nights ago, as I clicked away on Facebook on my computer, my hand inadvertently reached for my smartphone and before I knew what was happening I'd opened up Facebook. On my phone.Even though I was already browsing it on my computer.
You guys, that is seriously a problem, right? And I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one with a phone muscle memory programmed to checking Facebook.
So, this week I've decided to make a commitment to myself for the rest of the month of November. I've decided that during the day (specifically at work) I will not use my phone to log on Facebook more than one time. As we are headed into the 2012 holiday season, I know we all are evaluating our lives and this past year. We are thankful for what we've gained and who we've loved. And hopeful for the new year fast approaching. The past few years on my blog I've forged a thankfulness campaign in November (who remembers those dreaded vlogs I decided to do in 2010? Ugh.) to remind myself and others to stop and be mindful of the things in life we have been blessed with each day.
This year, one thing I'm NOT thankful for is the way smartphones have eliminated being present and focused in our culture. One of my biggest pet peeves is being in a conversation with someone only to have them unwittingly pick up their phone and lapse into that coma of "uh huhs" and "yeas" when I know they aren't really listening to me. And I'm sure I do it to people too, which is the kicker! So I'm going to change that, at least on my end.
I'm going to train myself to not be glued to my phone but, instead experience more of what is going on around me, not on my phone. And I figure eliminating Facebook distractions is a pretty solid start. Who knows where I'll go from there?
I'll keep you posted on my progress, and I challenge you to join me! Let's be present in each others lives in a real and lasting way these next few months. It can only help us build a habit that will last us into 2013 and beyond! Tell me if you'll join me or encourage me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post Edit: I wrote this post about a week ago (in case you're thinking this is lame since November is well on it's way to being over. . .). I've been doing pretty great, actually and really enjoying slowing my obsessive phone checking habits at work. Today, however, about a half hour before the end of my long, albeit productive, day in the office, I was put on hold during once last call I made to get some information. And before I even knew it, I'd fished out my phone and was scrolling through Facebook, but I wasn't even looking at my phone. It was like a last involuntary twitch from many hours spent doing that very same action. I was a little discouraged, but it also made me laugh. Here's to tomorrow: A new day during which my phone will stay safely in my purse far away from the reach of my "I'm on hold and super bored hands"!
I'm not really a Halloween celebrating type person. I didn't grow up in a home where Halloween was a big deal and we only dressed up a few times over the years. Honestly, minus indulging in a snack size kit kat or ten, the holiday barely registers on my radar.
This year, some friends were a hosting a small get together, however, and I was all about the Halloween cookies. Cuz, you know, sometimes I like to bake. . .
Making these little spooky treats was so fun, I'm almost excited for Halloween next year!
I seem to have this uncanny ability to be in the right place at the wrong time when it comes to run ins with officers of the law. There was the time a friend and I were in a car at about 2 AM while I whined about boy problems and a cop intercepted us because he thought we were "parking". I spent several minutes introducing him to my roommate and generally making an awkward scene with the door cracked because I panicked and forgot how to open the window.
Oh, and the time another roomie and I saved a guy after a mugging, called the copsand got questioned by a detective (!) who ended up not caring about us at all once he found out we didn't actually witness the mugging and only let the victim in to our apartment and gave him water and called his girlfriend. Whatever, detective. Being a good Samaritan is important, too.
Today began just as innocently as I got in line at a federal building in downtown Boston where my credit union is located. The line for the security check was longer than usual and with a huff I shuffled to the back. A man two in front of me stood out in the crowd. He was a rough dude, made more intimidating by the fact that he was loudly announcing that he was just out of jail again and would rather just stayed in another 6 months because he doesn't "do that parole shit" (pardon his language. . .)
Finally it was his turn at the security check and, within seconds, was in a verbal altercation with one of the security guards who heard Parolee call him a name. I generally assume security guards have a Napoleon Complex of sorts...which may be unfair, but whatever the case, this escalated pretty quickly.
Another security guard backed Napoleon up, and they started kicking Parolee out of the building. Shouting continued and the security guards changed their minds, telling Parolee to stay put and they were going to call the cops. Parolee and Napoleon got feisty and starting backing up toward me, arms being thrust and thrown about threateningly. I slowly backed into the marble column behind me, hoping a wayward first wouldn't meet my face.
Parolee decided he'd had enough and was leaving no matter what the security guards said, and made a dash for the exit with Napoleon and his buddy in hot pursuit.
At one point while ripping through the belted off area, the larger of the security guards got wrapped in the belt and was derailed while someone tried to help him. I tried not to laugh.
Much to Parolee's detriment no less than 5 police officers happened to be loitering right outside the federal building and were quickly hailed by Napoleon. Two other security guards resumed running the security. I was extra polite. I smiled and folded my jacket nicely
and waiting patiently until I was told to walk through the metal detector
Then, BEEP. I had set off the metal detector.
Rolling my eyes, I walked through and stepped aside to be have a hand wand check. I figured it was the decorative metal buckles on my shoes.
The guard directed me to hold on to the x-ray machine and lift one foot out of my shoe and then changed his mind
"Take off both your shoes," He said
"And put my feet on the floor?" I gaped at him in horror while clinging to the metal detector one leg shoe less, hovering, stork like, in the air.
Something told me this wasn't the best time to question him. In the wake of a testosterone infused altercation but, seriously, I don't know what's on that ground!
After a resigned sigh, he caved, letting me alternate shoes off,feet held aloft, away from the floor. Finally, I was cleared to go about my business.
Later, I stepped outside to find Parolee in handcuffs screaming at one if the 5 cops surrounding him. I ducked my head and hurried past. Then snapped a photo from across the street (I've taken the liberty of pointing out the fuzzy parole in handcuffs for you).
I would have stopped to get a closer view but the voice of reason from earlier won out, convincing me that snapping a photo of an arrest would cause more of a ruckus than the shoe debacle.