My life less-tech

Learning to turn it off

By: Steve Tipp

Tuesday morning I was sitting in a big meeting listening, checking my phone, slipping it into my pants pocket, listening a little… and the next thing i heard was glub, glub, glub the sound of my phone slipping from my pocket, landing in my coffee cup and the case filling with coffee. I had pre-ordered a new iPhone 4S, so i smiled and remained calm. Little did I know I would remain calm!

Now my email would remain at my office, and at our home, so would my twitter and
facebook. Because the tiny motorola phone I pulled from the drawer, heck I couldn’t
event figure out how to turn it off in my pocket, I didn’t have a blue tooth, I was having to
actually pull over to make a phone call from my car! Texting? brb: takes a few minutes
to peck out! Things started to fall into their old places.

But the one thing that was a big change is there was space in my day. That space
occurred all over the places where I would pull out the phone and fill in the gaps with
bits of info, social network, news, filler, filler, filler. Now space. And it was nice. And
calming. I was more present. I am more present!

We went to dinner with a couple of great dear old friend couples, the guys busy
entertainment exec’s were checking their phones, getting a call from a boss, an email
confirming a tv show being picked up, sharing SIRI. My little motorola was sitting there
blank. I was paying attention to them, not my own world. I was in the moment, not
being touched and buzzed by bits of info coming at me from all over the universe, not
really relevant to dinner at all…

Every day I call AT&T and ask when is it coming?

My calendar, I don’t want to miss an appointment, where is the soccer game, how
do i phone in the score, i have the phone in app too! My music, I went for a bike ride
yesterday, I couldn’t listen to the new Ryan Adams. It was quiet. I could hear how quiet
my bike was, i could hear myself breath. Then i started hearing a little creak. Oh well.

I know I can’t stay here in the dark ages, we can’t go back. But maybe I can learn to
turn it off…


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