This year for Lent: electronic distractions

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28 days ago

I think I skipped last year’s Lent, and maybe the year before, too. (You can read about prior years, if you like.) But this year it was clear a few months ago what I needed to give up: my phone.

And then Lent snuck up on me. (It starts tomorrow!) I’m not ready! I can’t let go, not yet, not now! Nooooooo!!!!

So I’ve made some hasty plans. Here they are:

  1. I’m not giving up the phone entirely. I depend on it to manage most of my life, and I don’t really think I’d be better off with e.g. a paper calendar or paper lists of reminders or communicating via telegraph. Specifically, I’m keeping access to:
    1. Calling (you know, the “phone”)
    2. Text messages
    3. Email (but no notifications)
    4. Weather
    5. Music
    6. Pictures (but no notifications)
    7. Reminders
    8. Calendar
    9. All the various utilities that serve a single purpose that I don’t usually use as a distraction (e.g. Notes, Amazon, Dashlane) (but no notifications)
  2. I am giving up all the things on my phone that I use to distract myself from boredom. That means hiding the apps, disabling their notifications, and not looking at them at all between now and April 12th. These include:
    1. Twitter & Google+ (I don’t have Facebook)
    2. Safari & Chrome
    3. Newsify / Feedly
    4. Kindle (I have a Paperwhite; I’ll allow it as a substitute for a physical book)
    5. Youtube & Air Video HD & Podcasts & Audible
    6. Games
  3. Also, to keep myself from just bingeing at a regular computer, I’ll be giving up most of those services entirely (until April 12th):
    1. Twitter & Google+
    2. Feedly
    3. Youtube
    4. Watching movies and TV shows by myself
    5. Games on the computer (ha ha! I haven’t done this in years)
  4. Finally, to get the phone away from my face as much as possible, I’ll be putting it down as soon as I get home, and only picking it up if there’s some specific reason to do so.
    1. Oh, and I’ll apply a similar rule in the morning – no picking it up until after I’m showered.

Here goes!

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