Positive Vibes — Checking
John – I had mentioned last week that I am starting to say no a lot more than I used to – and believe me, I used to say no quite frequently.
You called it boundary-setting. It is gotten even tighter than that – almost putting barbed wire around the things that are so important. Those things are like eating, sleeping and exercise. I do those every day. One thing that I have tightened up this week is on checking things. You know that habit – where you walk into the room and you see your phone and you pick it up because something or someone might have gotten in touch?
Chances are, no one did, but you have to check, just because you can never be sure.
Well, no more of that. Yesterday, Kel and I went out and I left my phone at home. Didn’t care who texted, I am out with her. Today, unless I needed it, my phone lived shut off in my coat pocket. No reason to look at it. It is amazing how much time you waste checking things, and when you do check things, and it upsets you, that’s worse.
Last week, before I went into work, I checked my e-mail. I saw that I had received a message from someone who upset me. This person was addressing an old issue that I thought was resolved, and it immediately caused me to become stressed.
Of course, I will deal with this issue, but wasn’t prepared to start my day that way. I read that e-mail and it instantaneously put me in a bad mood, first thing in the morning.
Well no more. I will no longer check my personal e-mail in the morning. In fact, e-mail and texts, I will get to you when I get to you.
So that’s one way, stop checking.
Sandy, are you a checker?
Sandy: Great points John. I, too, have noticed that people have become so attached to their phones that they can’t put them down. I don’t see how the dependence on the phone cannot interfere with real communication and relationships.
I’m always saddened when I see a parent walking with his/her children, and the adult is playing with the phone while the kids, totally ignored, follow behind. I wonder what can possibly be so important that they choose to ignore their children, or the other people they are with, to focus on a phone.
I come from the generation before technology took over the world, so being attached to a variety of devices isn’t part of who I am. In the olden days, every family had one phone, and it was attached to the wall by a wire. It was usually in the kitchen or living room, so everyone could hear your conversations. The purpose of the phone was to connect one voice to another, so there were no visual distractions, games to play, internet to search, or music to listen to. It was a means of communication, and that was all.
This was a good thing, because we all developed other interests and skills. We actually connected in person with people. Looked them in the eye, shook their hand (or gave them a hug if we knew them well), and had real conversations. We shared thoughts, feelings, and information, and in the process, we built relationships.
These days people think they have a relationship if they text or email someone often. However, those kinds of connections are very superficial and have no real substance.
I realize that today’s phones are useful for a variety of things, and are also a good safety device. However, I agree with you that when it begins to run your life, it’s time to break the habit and put it down.
Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience.
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