Thursday, September 7, 2017

Digital Detox Comes to an End

Six months ago I dropped my smartphone onto a hard tile floor and shattered the screen.  It marked the beginning of an extended period of digital detox.  Not that I didn't still have my laptop, but for six months now I've been using an old 1990s Nokia dumb phone.  It was a bit of an experiment to see what life looked like without that constant distraction everywhere I went.  In a lot of ways I found this preferable to the dopamine addiction of smartphone living.  We are a society addicted to those small chemical hits that we get with each message and notification, and I'm no exception.  All the same, life without a smartphone these days can be a bit of a challenge, and it is nice to have a navigation device, camera, news portal and communication device in your pocket at all times.  I finally broke down and ordered a new phone.   Then a few days later I found out about a company that offers free phones and service if you stay below a certain data limit (, so I ordered a second one as a backup.  Tomorrow the first phone will arrive and my experiment in 20th-century living will come to an end.  How do I feel about that?  Frankly, I'm somewhat excited to be getting a smartphone again, though not without some sentimentality toward the simplified life of the previous months.  I don't want to be one of these people addicted to checking their phones at all times, eschewing real-life experience for the digital high.  Can I find the right balance?  I'd like to think so, but only time will tell...

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