I look at my phone a lot during the day. A lot. And when I’m not looking at my phone, it is sure to remind me to look at it.
I work in social media and content development for a living, which I love. I have one of those jobs for which I wake up every day in disbelief that this is a job I actually get to do. Even better, this online nature of my work affords me the opportunity to work remotely. From home. In my track pants.
The flip side of that mobility is that my phone and laptop are my necessary connections to the outside world. And this means many, many notifications throughout the day. We’re talking two Instagram accounts, a Facebook page, two email accounts, one Slack channel with about 30 threads, the occasional Skype, a weekly Zoom, a few Facebook Lives, iCal, Google Cal, and oh yeah - texts.
This is in addition to my personal stuff, which is more email, another Facebook page, more Instagram, a couple of dating apps still giving it the death rattle of the old college try, the three different “education” apps my kids’ school and teachers use to communicate, in addition to the daily communique and bevy of forms sent home, LinkedIn, Garage Sale (did I even sign up for that), iPhone updates, system upgrades (remind me tomorrow. Or never.), WhatsApp, Pinterest, the occasional Tweet, Instagram direct message, Facebook messenger, and oh yeah - more texts.
At any given time, there are at least 17 tabs open in my brain, precisely four less than the literal 21 tabs open on my computer right now. I use a paper agenda with a pen to write stuff down when I remember, and admittedly, in the past, I have had to set a reminder in my Cal to remember to write stuff down.
It’s too much.
I do try to break away from my phone, and when my kids are home from school, I have become skilled at ignoring it 99.9% of the time. And then, you know, catch up on what I missed - because that’s a real thing - after they’re tucked into their cozy beds.
So, if I don’t text you back, I’m not ignoring you. I’m merely experiencing a minor short circuit in my brain, and have gone outside to look at the moon and recharge my own batteries.