the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

On Solitude II

One solitude-related change I made came after being taken by a phrase used in the book: the quick glance.

This is about always having your phone at hand, and reaching for it whenever boredom strikes, or you're at a loss for something to do. Guilty as charged, and it struck a chord with me, for two reasons.

The first was the solitude-related angle. The book's argument is that the quick glance eats away at one of the last few places where you might still get to experience solitude - the in-between moments, like standing in a queue, or waiting for something, or having a few minutes to spare. As I said in my last post, I don't feel solitude deprived, but for the declutter I was happy to embrace the idea of taking extra solitude wherever I could get it.

The second reason was the compulsiveness of always reaching for my phone. The much-mentioned chasing of dopamine hits from clicking through links or checking social media, looking to find something interesting. It's an addictive behaviour, it becomes a habit, and (at least to me) not a good one. There are worse addictions to have, for sure, but it still bothered me.

So I resolved to stop doing it. I made a point of leaving my phone in my pocket, or bag, or back at the office at lunchtime. And instead ... I'd just twiddle my thumbs, or look around, or stare into space, or generally just think about stuff.

In the beginning, it took some adjusting. I had the small but-I'll-be-bored! anxieties. But within a week or so it bothered me less. Now, I occasionally still have the urge, or maybe more accurately, the reflex to reach for my phone, but I generally don't give into it, and choosing not to doesn't stress me out.

{2019.10.26 09:15}

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