I need some advice, and the fact that I even have to ask this question is embarrassing so I’m going to attempt to lessen the mortification with a little back-story justification.
Last week, I mentioned that I find myself compulsively checking email, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites on my iPhone throughout the day. I don’t do it because I’m dying to know what is happening online, but rather because I am temporarily bored.
I check it during the commercial breaks of my favorite TV shows or during the opening credits of a movie we’re watching on DVD.
I check it between work projects.
I check it if I’m stuck in a waiting room, amusement park line, or multi-floor elevator ride.
It’s as if I don’t know how to just stop and be still for a few moments.
I asked myself recently what I did before I had an iPhone. Certainly there was a time when being constantly connected to the Internet wasn’t even an option. How did I ever manage my boredom and restless energy pre-Twitter?
Before the smartphone kept me connected to the digital word, the cigarette kept me connected to a fierce nicotine addiction. While those two habits look very different from the outside, they both feed at least one common need:
The need for constant distraction, even when I want a temporary break from the real world.
I’m not sure I know how to take a real break. I mean, sure, I know how to read a book or take a nap or go for a walk. But I’m not talking about a relaxing activity that takes up its own chunk of time. I’m talking about those moments when you just need to stop, catch your breath, and take a moment or two.
Like after you’ve cleaned up dinner and before you start the bedtime routine.
What do you do when you can’t - or don’t want to - really do anything? How do you satisfy that momentary need for mindless distraction?
Yes, I’m seriously asking for your advice on this!
Please leave your suggestions in the comments. I’ll just be over here in the corner trying to hide my shame.