Bullet Point Post: The Phone

• It’s been approximately seven years (read: a lengthy time frame whose exact duration I cannot recall) since my last Bullet Point Post and it’s almost 1am on Thursday night (Friday morning) and I thought to myself, You know what? I’m going to write a Bullet Point Post.

• That was actually the paraphrased, edited version of what I thought to myself because my normal thought process is much more like a labrador in a washing machine. Write on the blog (spin, spin, spin), what do I need to accomplish tomorrow (agitate cycle), Instagram! (rinse cycle), when is the first time I get to eat tomorrow? (spinning again). In fact, in response to my inability to productively engage in homework or reading without interacting with some form of electronic media every couple of minutes, I have begun to consider putting myself under a kind of technology curfew during homework times, to promote focus and productivity.

• I am, however, experiencing push-back against this idea in two areas: 1) “homework time” is literally every moment that I am not in class or work or speaking with friends, family, and fellow countrymen and 2) I like my phone and my computer and I especially like the forms of social media interaction that they afford me.

• So I’ll probably not take my phone away from myself. Even though maybe I should.

• Actually, since we are on this topic, I’m going to segue (don’t even get me started on the disappointment/deep confusion I still experience over the difference in spelling and meaning between segue and Segway) into a brief monologue regarding my sleep habits. We all know that Natalia (myself. Third person reference to myself. I’m either Elmo or I’m losing it) prefers to sleep amongst enough pillows so as to make it less like the cold, lonely, alone, by myself, no one else around, sleeping experience that it actually is.

Pillow around me: good thing.
Pillow under my head: no-go.

Okay, pillows aren’t so bad. But (oh no, I’m about to indirectly prove my above-referenced phone addiction) I also used to sleep with my phone within very close arms reach, amongst the above-mentioned pillows. In fact, I slept with it either under the pillow next to (but not under) my head, or actually under my body, like some kind of hard, cold stuffed animal.

Okay, pillows and phone, still marginally normal. Here’s the odd thing, though: every night, with very rare exceptions, I would spontaneously wake up between the hours of 3am and 5am for the sole purpose of checking my phone. Because, you know, the president of the United States might have texted me during the peak hours of the night, and I would, of course, need to acknowledge such a text immediately. I say acknowledge and not respond to because, well, maybe you have the gift of coherent sleep texting, but I do not. And trust me, I’ve tried.

So the pillows and the phone and the dark of night phone checks. With every word I write I become more convinced that maybe I need to enforce phone-fasts upon myself, in order to healthfully engage in society, life, and well, you know, sleep.

• (The length of the above bullet point was making me a little anxious, so I created another one) But there is hope! Hope for a great many things, of course, but I here refer to the hope that I have of removing myself from the clutches of my iPhone and the connected entertainment it brings to me. And here’s what the hope is: I stopped sleeping with my phone next to me. Rather, it sits all night long on my desk, approximately twenty-four inches from my feet. And would you not believe it: my magical, unexplained, unsolicited 3am phone check wake ups have completely disappeared.

• I sleep all the night long now. And when I wake, after I turn my alarm off (which is of course, on my phone) I put the phone down and I do something else, read something else, think about something else (spin, spin, spin, agitate cycle, rinse, rinse, rinse).

• So I stand by the statement which I made by implication towards the beginning of these words, that it might be beneficial for my deep emotional and mental involvement with my technology be frequently (although temporarily) removed from me, in order to facilitate 8x more efficient work time, more quality conversations in person and otherwise, and much less time wasted.

• Because the thing is, really, that I’m learning every day, every hour, what it looks like to love God better and others more, and the whole of it comes down to His strength in me and His Spirit in me, and Jesus Christ Himself in me, working to make me more like Him, more able to glorify God. And if it came down to it, I want to say, want to be able to say, that I choose all of these God-glorifying, sanctifying, wonderful things over my phone, over social media, over websites and articles and news and utter irrelevance, any day.

• Because yes, it is one in the morning, and yes, I can’t really see what I’m typing because I’ve suddenly become very sleepy very quickly, but this I do know: that a phone is a small thing and my God is a very big Him, and those proportions are exactly accurate.

~Natalia

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