|oddly, this accidental screenshot was taken when my screen was actually busted and looked totally nothing like this. iphone magic, i guess.|
My iphone died today. I dropped it on a tile floor. I drop it all the time, but today I guess I dropped it in some extra-special way. All the stars aligned, and the screen totally went. I watched in horror as it happened—I actually felt like I was in a movie. I think that all speaks volumes to my iphone attachment, for better or for worse, and how, maybe (and I'm looking for the silver lining here, but just maybe) it's not a bad thing for me to view this whole debacle as an opportunity for a little self-examination.
For one thing, I do not NEED to use my phone as much as I do. Yes, it is an indispensable tool. Yes, it is the biggest technological revolution since the computer and the internet. Yes, I do need it—there is no getting around that— it's the swiss army knife of productivity for me.... BUT... owning one can be a tricky wire to walk. The iphone does not have a conscience. It does not have an opinion. It can't tell me what it thinks I should or shouldn't spend my time doing. (Kazoo, anyone? Flinstones?) It can only go where I tell it to go, do what I tell it to do. That, unfortunately, can sometimes add up to a fair amount of time goofing off. Time that would be much better spent with my sketchbook, or my notebook... or even just hanging out with my dog more. I'm certain of this. Sure, I mostly use it for productivity-laced activities. I read helpful e-books on it. I have so many tools on it that help me communicate with others, deliver files to people, and generally keep things running well. The phone itself even assists me with off-line creative work in several ways. And when I do play a game, it's often Draw Something, which I consider a casual but engaging creative exercise, not a waste of time.
But... my iphone can't tell me to knock it off when I take the off-ramp into junkdom (Hello, Us Weekly!). It can't coach me to curb my Instagramming. (Hey I love Instagram, but I also love pie, and if I ate pie the way I Instagram..) It doesn't set a timer when I'm making photo collages in PicFrame, my latest obsession. (Think they should make an app for that?)
So, I'm coming clean: On some level, my iphone addiction actually bothers me! Yes, It is an uber-productivity tool, but it's also an uber- time-suck-and-goof-off tool if one is not really careful about it. This is something I've been aware of. It's not a secret. But here I am, now, in this situation. And it's really a great, gifty opportunity to investigate my phone habits and take steps to revise them where needed. I'm not saying it's great that I dropped and accidentally killed my phone. But I am glad that I'm self-aware enough to see this as a chance to make some small changes that I think will add up, and eventually improve— ironically—my productivity. Definitely, when it comes to sketching and drawing on actual paper. I should have more time for that now.