Watches, SmartPhones and Dead time   1 comment

I’ve been trying to me more conscious of how I handle dead spaces–time spent waiting on someone to make something happen. Do I wait patiently? Fidget? Pull out my phone?

It is the last possibility that I’ve become most aware of. It seems to creep in. Reading e-mail on the bus or sending tweets from a waiting room are innocent enough. Perhaps even while waiting for my family to get ready to leave the house. These are dead spaces that might otherwise be spent leafing through a magazine, or pacing impatiently.

But, the phone has a funny way of creeping into more and more dead spaces. It’s very compelling to enter its world, and all to easy. It sits there in my pant pocket, ready to be pulled out at a moment’s notice. It will be slid back in just as readily. I became bad about pulling it out in dead spaces that started to creep into being rude.

It dawned on my what one of my triggers is, and how to mitigate it. I wear my father’s watch during the week, both for its stated purpose, as well as to remember him. I tend to take it off when sitting at my desk, as it gets in the way of typing. On weekends, however, I tend not to wear it. Like many people, I figure that there is a clock on my magical SmartPhone, so why have the extra thing.

But that’s a slippery slope, especially with a little dead time. That intersection happened this weekend, during the eye exam. One of the assistants was doing some of the pre-work with me. She had to spend a bit of time tweaking the machines, entering my information, and similar things. During these times, I had the urge to pull out my phone and play. I resisted.

Then I wanted to know what time it is.

With the dead space, I knew that, once I saw what time it was, it would be real easy to check Twitter. Then buzz my e-mail. Win, lose, or draw, there was no subtle way to do any of that. I kept my phone in my pocket, and politely waited.

My lesson out of all of this is to wear a watch more frequently. Glancing at the time becomes a quick flick of the wrist rather than pulling out a gadget. It can be done much more subtly, and I know that I’ve removed a temptation. While I rely tremendously on my phone for all sorts of things, I need to make sure I’m balancing its utility with paying attention to the world around me.

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Posted 2013-02-04 by Mr. Guilt in rant, Twenty-First Century Life

One response to “Watches, SmartPhones and Dead time

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  1. Pingback: Tetris Addiction | Mr. Guilt's Blog

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