Friday, September 7, 2012

Realizing it can wait

Remember the day when we all sat in the car and talked and played car games? Relied on big huge bulky maps of the entire country, separated by states, where you had to connect A5 to D2 to find your destination? When you called to let the person know you were just about to leave and wouldn’t talk to them until you pulled up in their driveway?

Since June, when I went to Milwaukee and didn’t take my laptop, I’ve felt a shift of sorts in my use of all my gadgets. I have a lot of them. The iPhone, iPad, iPod, Kindle, and my laptop. Overwhelming at times, not to mention confusing when I’m reaching for one and do a jerky arm move over everything because I can’t figure out which I’m going for.

Up until a few weeks ago, I was a master texter while driving. I can text without looking and drive with my knee like no one you’ve ever seen…until I looked down to proof read and see I was one letter over to the left and all my words were misspelled. So of course, I would then survey the road, ensuring no cars were coming toward me (because I made it a “rule” to not text when a car was about to pass me) and proceed to look down to fix all the mistakes.

I always told myself I should cut back on texting and driving. I should. But it was always too easy to grab it when someone texted. I’ve mentioned it before; I generally text a person immediately upon receiving their text. If I read it and don’t, I’ll forget to respond, so I don’t wait. I’m just about always available. Even phone. I have this thing where its hard letting a call go to voicemail.

Well, I have noticed that no matter how quickly I’ll write back, they can take up to 5, 10, sometimes 30 minutes to get back to me. Odd seeing how they just texted but its slowly sunk in these past couple weeks that its okay to wait. Its okay to let that call from that client go to voicemail at 8:30pm. It’s okay to read a text and not respond until the morning. And most importantly, its okay to not touch my phone when I’m driving.

Why? I honestly have to remind myself that the person who is texting me, or calling me took 15 minutes to write back. Or 3 days to return my call, and if they feel its ok for me to wait, then I know its ok for them to wait that 20 minute drive home to respond. Its not an emergency, its not life or death. It’s a silly text about a piece of paper, or a workout, or someone wanting to say hi.

They can wait.

For the past 5-6 weeks, I’ve made huge efforts to stop texting while driving. There have been a couple times I’ve done it but 98% of the time I wait. And you want to know something crazy? The people on the receiving end of my texts, haven’t complained one bit. Heck, I bet they didn’t even notice I took longer than normal.

Everything is at our fingertips now. GPS, video games, communication. There’s no need to wait anymore when all a person needs is to grab their smart phone and look it up while sitting in the car driving down the road. And there’s no need to map it out to such great extent as before. We can call the person on our way and say we’re coming and call them 10 minutes before we get there. And we can all zone out to our little video games, keeping us separate from our riding companions. Things are not the same as when we grew up.

I love my iPhone, but I miss those days of less. So I’m working on less. Less texting, less computer time, less zoning out just to zone out..and I have to say, its been pretty nice.

Have a safe weekend and remember, it really can wait.


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bunky153 said...

I'm happy you're not texting and driving anymore. Whew!! Cross that worry off my list!!! I agree that too much time is spent looking at a screen. Most people aren't even aware of their surroundings. We actually saw someone walking and texting last week that ran into a light pole! It's as if people don't know how to be alone with their own thoughts, they always have to be 'plugged in'. Sad.

Anonymous said...

I used to text and drive all the time, but when I do it I realize that I swerve slightly, and slow down, and I'm just not good at it. I suppose I"m not good at it because I'm not MEANT to. I've been making a huge effort to stop texting and driving too. And when my boyfriend and I go out, I just leave my cell phone at home to minimize distraction. It's definitely nice to shut down technology from time to time.


carissa @ lowercase letters said...

yes! i think this is so important. kelly recently told me i was so a.d.d. and it's because of my phone! i can do ten things at once on it, and not focus on any of them really. less time wasting = less technology. i'm right there with you!!!

Lauren said...

I totally agree! When J and I were on our vacation we didn't have any electronic use besides our cell which was for emergencies. It was so nice! I enjoyed so much... I am so guilty of being so preoccupied with all these gadgets. I have been trying extra hard to not be so reliant on them :)

Natalie said...

Well, thank the Lord you're not going to text and drive anymore (I'm such a stickler for road rules... it drives everybody crazy around me). I've been cutting down on my time online for a couple of months now, and I have to say, I quite like it. I get around to doing other things I love but had forgot or put on the back burner.

Daisy said...

You are so right. I'm guilty of doing the same thing when I drive. It CAN wait!

Amanda Wissmann said...

Oohhhh I love this. Ok, seriously...there's something happening here. The past 3 posts I have read have been about giving up time with something. Deleted Pinterest account, turning off cellphone at night..and now yours.

Maybe it's a sign? lol. Either way, it's so true....and so important that we don't miss what is happening around us because we are SO caught up in our phones/computers/ etc...

Hmm.....where can I let something wait.......?

Happy friday, dearest!

My-cliffnotes said...

I don't text and drive, but M does and I tell him
Not too!

Jess said...

I'd like to file a complaint...

Just kidding!
I am so very with you though on wanting things more simple. Being married to an ex-Apple employee I'm sure you can imagine the amount of technology we have in our house.
Before we had kids it was a running joke with us that when I heard Dave say my name with this certain tone I knew he was going to tell me he'd sold my current computer/iPod...whatever and he was getting me the newest one or the better one or whatever. This was PRE-Apple employment btw...don't want any crazyApple people knocking down my door to haul him away...RABBIT!!!
Anyway, I remember those trips with the maps. And the reading of actual books and of playing iSpy or the alphabet game, or singing at the top of our lungs to the radio.

Getting one of those airstream campers or a rv and just traveling the highway sounds really appealing. We do live right off Route 66, maybe we'll channel Cars and travel it. The old Route 66.

Then again maybe I should start small and ignore your tweets and emails for an hour. Naaahhhh

Megan said...

So so true. I used to text and drive like crazy, but I don't anymore. It's not worth killing myself or someone else over a dang text.

Kristin said...

Emily. I so loved reading this! It's a message that needs to get out these days. Why do we feel so compelled to be at everyone's beckoned call? It's just not necessary. It's wonderful to have a personal boundary bubble - to get to things on YOUR time - to not become magnetically attached. Hard. I know. But something I've been feeling convicted about and compelled to change. Glad to know I'm not the only one! Happy weekending to you!

The Heart Of A Woman said...

That is a great idea! Gadgets have completely taken over and it's time we take our lives back!!!

sandi said...

ummmm, yet another "thing" we don't do... text. i use less than 90 minutes on my cell phone monthly, don't really care to talk on it or the home phone at all. this will not come as a surprise to you (ha) we play games in the car... (find something that starts with A, B, etc, and making sentences out of license plate letters, or name something you are thankful for that starts with a, etc). on very long trips we will take the laptop and let the children watch movies but usually that is reserved for any car trip over 6 hours.

i applaud you for trying to stop texting! get the word out girl!

Jill Turner said...

I've been trying to avoid texting and driving too. It really is dangerous!

Xo Jill


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