224, 144, then 164 minutes. That’s 3.7, 2.4 then 2.73 hours. Three consecutive days, one surprised man and one unphased iPhone.
I can explain! Really! I know — the final holdout on the smartphone, the proud low-tech with acoustic instruments and daylong bread recipes, who once used so little electricity in his college room that the electricians thought the meter was broken…1 But now, this iPhone is where my music now lives, where my family and I Snapchat, where photos store and I don’t respond to emails, where I keep my shifting list of morning prayer intentions, identify Northern birds, where I verb and noun my way into better French on Duolingo, where I, for convenience’s sake, sometimes read my current kindle novel while in transit, and where I’m actually composing this piece. Oh, yeah- and where I text and make the occasional phone call.
25 days and 2,267 minutes of use later,2 I have disbelieved, rationalized, and wrestled my way into reluctant gratitude and a sullen ‘tip of the hat’ to developer Kevin Holesh, whose Moment app now slaps a number on my vaguely excessive phone use. And son of an engineer that I am, numbers require action, even if that action is first denial.
Denial phase now passed, I’m proud of a daily goal I set in response; I’m now spending on average 90.75 less minutes a day on this device, 90.75 more minutes elsewhere.3 Where? On my computer instead. Only half joking… But I’ve also picked up the banjo again, gracing my neighbors with poorly-performed covers of Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” and Dylan’s “The Times They Are A Changin.’” And letter-writing, too: Lizzie, Colleen, Antonino and Flying J- your letters will be in the mail soon, I promise.
My times, they are a changin’. And hopefully more than just my statistics.