Saturday, May 5, 2012

Dotting all my I's!

It's no wonder I can't get any writing done. Besides the job, kids, activities and sleep time, the rest of my time seems to be filled up with something that is supposed to make our lives easier. . .

iPods, iPhones, iPads, iTunes and one Galaxy Tab thrown in.

The girls have our old iPhones without phone service to use as iTouches. These are like the first generation iPhones and are starting to act their age. They move slowly, they crash and they don't work right most of the time. Therefore, they get handed to me quite often to fix/trouble shoot/update. Last week I spent hours trying to get some new songs on Kylie's iPod and today it was all about retrieving their lost text numbers (apparently if you don't text for awhile your text number gets tossed and you have to start from scratch). Once I got Melanie rolling and texted all her friends with the new digits, she tells me her Instagram isn't working either. An hour later I have it working and have added a whole bunch of followers. . .oops, forgot for a minute I was on hers, not mine (I have to fill her in on all the photos I just liked for her).

So why is it that most 12 year olds know more about their devices and computers than their parents do, but it is reverse for me? Melanie could really care less how many Instagram followers she has (while her friends are striving to reach goals of 100, 200, 300!) She rarely texts (as evidenced by the lost number) and she has to be reminded to check email (I actually gave up on that a long time ago). Never has she asked to have Facebook and when I download books onto the iPad for her, she refuses to read them. (In fact she snuck home Catching Fire from her classroom even though it's paid for and loaded for her on the iPad). She only has a few photos on Instagram and one of them is, "Life was much easier when Apple and Blackberry were just fruits." Ha. . .guess she's trying to tell us something.

My routine when I am on the verge of boredom is to pick up my phone and check and write some email, make a few comments and updates on Facebook, like some photos on Instagram, pin on Pinterest, furrow my brow on Words with Friends (that in itself could take an hour!), draw some crude pictures on Draw Something, read USA Today, check the hourly forecast, text a few peeps, then viola. . .enough time has passed to start over with email! Plus I have my work device (the Galaxy Tab) that is good for a few emails per day that I will read as I walk past.

Having the phone does have several pluses to it.
1. It's good for those 15 minutes here and there that need to be filled. . .while waiting at the orthodontist/doctor/dance/water to boil/movie previews/homework/before my next patient, etc. . .
2. It makes me smarter. Ask me anything! Anything!! I can have an answer in seconds! (Why do my eyes water when I pee? How many people died in the Boston Molasses disaster? What are the words to "There Was a Bear?" Where is Dubai?)
3. It's great to catch me up in a movie when I doze off or get distracted (usually a text!). I often find myself missing some the plot, then in just a few seconds on Wikipedia or IMB, I have caught myself up with the plot synopsis of any movie without having to rewind. Amazing. Just have to be careful not to read too much of the plot synopsis, because sometimes I decide I don't like what's going to happen so I tune out completely!

But what are the phone downfalls? My attention span and deep thinking have declined. I don't focus as deeply on any one thing, yes being busy is part of that too, but instead of waking up with a story on my mind or a book within reach, I wake up and within seconds have the phone in my hand and am on to the first emails of the day.

What did I do with all the extra time in pre-iPhone days? Let's see. . .that was about 4 years ago. . .I think I was writing!

My daughter is on to something. I read less books and therefore I think less. My mind is constantly occupied by social media and apps. Therefore, I am making this pledge. I will vow to somehow, in someway distance myself from the phone/iPad. It will be tough. But it's my first goal and first step in trying to get the creative juices flowing again. . .

Wish me luck!

I'll get started right after I check my email/facebook/instagram/pinterest/words. . .

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