On November 4th 2020, my smart phone fell off the bed. Palat! When I picked it up, the screen was black. It was unusable. Dead. What now? Literally, everything in our lives today is done with its help.
Suddenly, I realized, how completely my life is run by my smart phone. Literally. Every night when my mother goes to her room, it is my time with my children (WhatsApp group video call) mostly, sometimes with friends and followers (Instagram). I love connecting with my Instagram followers in live sessions. (Several of these sessions are on IGTV now.)
This doesn’t mean I’m not on the phone all day. I am. It is more sporadic in day time, it interrupts my work, or my work interrupts my phone activities. It has even taken my bedtime reading, which was a lifetime habit of mine. So, when my phone dies, it feels as if a part of my life has died.
Yet, I become alive. It’s me. While the phone is being retrieved, mostly by my Waliya and now by Faizan. I am also loving this ‘me-time’.
So, the side-benefit to this ‘death of phone’ scenario is the peace. Complete peace. So, frankly, I love that too.
Phone calls & activities affect flow of work.
Suddenly you realize how much of your life is controlled by this innocent looking thing. During my ‘normal’ days, quite often, my head is literally spinning. (Mainly due to messages and inter-linked conversations. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, phone messages and phone calls. Omg.
It literally doesn’t let me focus on anything, taking double the time to complete a piece of work. As I work, phone interruptions affect flow of work. So, my latest habit is to put my phone on airplane mode while I work.
What am I doing?
As I was saying… use phone to communicate what you have to say. Then, say it and put off the phone. How many of us succeed in doing so? I really admire such folks. But no. Most of us feel guilty coming to the point quickly, and it takes a long time. We are Pakistanis, we have to repeat the key sentence several times. I’m sorry to say, it is almost as if they feel that it’s a moron they are talking to. Even though you told them, “I get it”. I remember, when my ‘uncle Tom’ (fake name of course!) would call, we would jokingly wave goodbye to my husband. 😊 We all knew, it would last an hour at least!
Pakistan is the only country with the most efficient phone system. But. Lets use it for what it is there for. Our country would be more advanced, if only! –
So, I’ve got to sort myself out, while you sort out yourself.
The other day, I was talking to Haroon Sharif, he confessed that he spends a whole hour on his phone per day. (30 hours a month?) While I thought, ‘I’m off the phone for one hour!’ rest of the time, mostly, I’m eyeing the phone.
So, at the end of our lives, where will this time we spend on phones have meaning? What were we busy doing on the phone? All things combined. Was it for something useful? Did we make a difference in someone’s life? Did we make the best use of it, or wasted the other person’s time too? What will my answer be? What about you?
How to use the phone?
- Have time limits: Use phone for a work at hand. To expedite it, not to prolong it. (Btw I passed my Financial Accounting paper (finally) due to learning it from my class fellow Irfan Ahmed in Lahore, on video chat on WhatsApp. So, it has its uses.
- Put off the phone: or you can put it on air plane mode when you are with family and friends. (That is common courtesy also.)
- Move out of the room: when taking a call, instead of disturbing everyone.
- Use the App: which helps you keep an eye on your time on the phone, it tells you where you spend it, too.
- Say short goodbyes: Our goodbyes are masterpieces. Stop it.
- Always ask before calling: through text, otherwise, ask first, ‘is this a good time to talk?’ Do not mind if person is busy, and suggests another time.
- Keep it handy and fully loaded: It was a phone which recorded the murder of George Floyd. Otherwise, they’d be around now, enjoying full benefits. It can be the only proof of a crime recorded on time. So, stay alert and ready.
- Evidence: in an accident, take photographs of the car or situation, otherwise, many times the ‘evidences’ are lost.
- Note blessings: We can get thankless, so we need to take pics and see how blessed we are.
Ahhh phone is back!
So, I was talking to my daughters on Facebook messenger, when Nataliya from Seattle told me that Waliya is at my gate, in Islamabad. It was 11.30 pm, yesterday. Both Waliya and Faizan had got the phone repaired, and brought it over. I’m so HAPPYYYYYYY! 😊 It is my link to the world.
Getting blessed through the phone:
Sigh, I’ve been loving the peace. Yet, I’ve got so much going on there; I was most concerned about the next bridal project. The family was to pick up their things in time for the wedding. I had asked them to call before coming, not knowing about this mishap. So, we all do important things with our phones and make a difference in another person’s life. Together, we are doing a lot.
Let’s use it in moderation:
So, now my phone is back, I’m happy, yet I want to stay peaceful and have work flow too. So, I guess, it would be best to have ‘off’ times on phone. Then have a couple of ‘on’ times, in the sense that one keeps time slots to catch up on calls etc. Yet, I guess it boils down to the fact of ‘moderation’ in all that you do. So, lets use phone in moderation and be mindful while using it.
Stay blessed. 😊