Did you know you can run errands without your phone? Weird.

Corrigan loves my phone.   I love my phone.

I love my phone a lot.

Truth is, I love it too much and what on Earth is the point of loving something that can’t love you back?

A few days ago I tossed Corrigan in the car and headed out to run some errands.  Less than a mile down the road I realized that I left my phone sitting on the dining room table. I almost turned around and went back to get it.

How ridiculous is that?

I actually braked and prepared to turn around before I gave myself a nanosecond pep talk and convinced myself that I would, indeed, survive a run around town without an internet connection.

How did this happen?  How did it get to the point that my hands get a little sweaty when I leave it behind? It was the strangest afternoon. I was forced to go hours without checking to see what everyone was up to on Facebook.  I couldn’t take a photo of Corrigan doing something cute or hand it to him to prevent a tantrum in the check out aisle.  I couldn’t call home to ask Mark for his opinion on something that I was thinking about buying.  How did we live without a phone in our pocket for 99% of modern history?

I rely on my phone way too much.

Without it I cannot call anyone because my brain is now incapable of remembering 10 digit phone numbers.  I used to have dozens stored away in my brain but now if someone rattles off a number on the radio, I race around my kitchen looking for a scrap of paper, maniacally repeating the numbers over and over until I can write it down…and then get to the 7th number and realize I forgot the rest.

I’ve become so comfortable having it at the tip of my fingers for capturing little moments throughout the day with photo and video apps.

It is my alarm clock on preschool mornings, with one set to wake us and another set to remind me to get my butt out of Walmart and go grab Corrigan at 11:30 dismissal.

It is my flashlight when I make a run to the bathroom at 2am.  And it sleeps (and charges) beside me on the bedside table each and every night. Charge it on the kitchen counter overnight? What?  Shut up. Now you are just talking crazy.

It is my dictionary and thesaurus.  It makes me feel less stupid when I can find an answer to a question in 7.9 seconds while standing in line at the concession stand. If I had to wait until I got home to look it up, well it would ruin my evening. Must. Know. Everything. Instantly.

When my beloved desktop, the one that was so good to me for nearly 8 years, finally died last Spring, I’m positive that most that knew me thought I would be devastated that we could not afford to have it replaced for awhile.  People remarked how proud of me they were that I didn’t have meth-like withdrawal symptoms.  I made remarks about how it was a good lesson in what was important, that I had found other ways to fill my time but the truth is…I had my phone. I had wireless access while sitting in my house and lovely 3G service just about anyplace else I might want to go.  Sure I was getting a lot done without my computer, I couldn’t blog or photo edit but I wasn’t having withdrawal symptoms because I was sneaking internet sips from my phone 24 hours a day.

I’ll check my email at stop lights.  Do you do that? Is it illegal?  I know it is illegal to text and drive and even to talk on the phone while driving in Maryland but what about when you are sitting at the longest light in Cumberland?

The thing is, Connor is 14 and will be driving in two years.  When he gets the keys to the car I will lay down the same rules that my Dad gave me 20 years ago plus a few new ones.  No driving with the radio on when you are transporting passengers.  No more than one under age passenger at a time.  Always wear your seat belt and require it of everyone in the car with you.  Drive the speed limit, or else. Don’t answer your phone if it rings. Don’t make any calls while the car is running.  Never text or fuss with your Ipod while driving.  Wrap yourself in bubble wrap and wear a helmet at all times while driving in a car.  You know, reasonable stuff.

My Dad wouldn’t allow me to play my radio, he said it would distract me.  I thought he was ridiculous.  But I totally followed the rules. Yep. Always. {grin} Now I have my iPod on my phone and tapped into my car radio.  And sometimes I will grab my phone, while driving, look down quickly to move to the next song, or change stations on Pandora.  I’m not typing, or reading emails. The moments are brief, just a few taps or a screen swipe, and I fool myself into thinking nothing can happen in .5 seconds but that isn’t true.

(there was a paragraph here, with accompanying photo, still posted on local message boards but was asked to remove the photo here. Apparently it is against the law or something. sorry.  You know what a car accident looks like. It was one of those.)

I passed a police officer that was texting while driving through Bowling Green just last week.  Phones are to the ears of so many drivers despite laws recently passed making it illegal in our state.  I have to tell Connor to never text and drive.  To not answer his phone while behind the wheel, all the while fussing with my own while driving now.  I have to be a better example.

So this week I have started putting my purse in the back seat. If it rings or chirps, I force myself to wait to check until I get to my destination and yes, I have to talk myself into not checking.  “Just let it ring, Mindy.  You’re retraining yourself. You can do this. Gah, it feels wrong not to answer it.  Only two more rings then voice mail will grab it. When will it stop? No, no, let it ring. Whew! It’s over. Good job, Mindy. You are a rock star!”

Yes, I have a problem but the first step towards recovery is to admit it, right?

Am I alone?

3 thoughts on “Did you know you can run errands without your phone? Weird.

    • Stacy mine too but sometimes I want to change the song to something specific (not just shake it to move to the next song, you know) or I want to move from my ipod app to my Pandora app, its only two clicks, same screen, but still…it is a distraction, right??

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