Breaking habits is Zen in action. I have to be aware every waking moment, for my Autopilot works far better than I thought. He’s basically a fully functioning human being without the capacity for reasonable thought. He has no problem doing the things I have banned. It’s slightly scary that he is in control 80% (or more) of my day to day existence..
My phone use is proving the most interesting at the moment. Several habitual situations have reared up like superbly muscled stallions attacked by a bee swarm:
1. I can’t check email on my phone. This was a deliberate decision, but I found myself this morning tapping the icon before I’d thought about it. Autopilot 1, Me 0.
2. I can’t check my blog dashboard. This led me to an internal discussion about what is important about checking Google Analytics, which is the only reason I would visit my site on my phone. I justified checking by saying that I needed to stay abreast of what was working to attract visitors and what was not.
I then countered with the argument that at this stage of the blog (less than 6 months old and less than 1000 page views a month) checking Analytics was nothing more than useless ego masturbation or crushing ego defeat, depending on what the numbers said. Statistically, very little would affect blog progress, and there was nothing that couldn’t be handled at the beginning or end of each day. I then congratulated myself for such a sensible and cleverly constructed argument, and toddled off for a well earned rest. Me 1, Lawyers 0.
3. I like to read phone articles on the toilet. So now I have to read old piss-stained editions of National Geographic. Did you know a teaspoon of nicotine contains 111 lethal doses? Useless Trivia 54, Me 0.
4. I like to check my phone in bed in the mornings, on weekends and in the evenings sometimes. Now I have to pay attention to my wife, who also joins me in bed it seems. Because I don’t have a phone in my face I can put a vagina there instead. Me 4, My Wife 8.
5. More seriously, I often look for a moment’s reprieve from the loud, insistent, and occasionally cute onslaught of children. This is one of the main reasons I have quit the phone for the month; I don’t want to be a role model with a phone in my face 50% of the time. So many times I answer “Just checking something on my phone”, or “Just sending a message”, and my wife is much worse with constant FaceDouche updates. My kids think it’s normal to have parents with phones for faces, and I don’t like that.
In addition, this momentary time I get on the phone is never good quality. I get interrupted constantly, and am rarely able to finish what I am reading. “What is the point?” I asked myself in a moment of lucidity, after getting pillow-raped in the head by a five-year-old.
I decided then to actually be there with my kids. So while I enjoy taking time out for a moment’s rest, in the long run I would rather be an awesome dad, and make the most of the time I have with my fast growing children.
Quality of Life 1, iPhone 0.