The other day I was sitting at a red light. I wasn’t in a particular hurry. I wasn’t running late. Both nice changes of pace for me. But what I noticed was that my immediate reaction once I had stopped was to reach for my phone and see what I had missed, or better yet, if anyone had missed me and reached out.
It’s like I’m afraid to be alone with my own thoughts sometimes, so I just start flexing my thumbs for their workout.
Later that day, I was at the gym. I was pretty proud of myself – I was running hard, sweating…you know, doing things I pay a gym for…and I was in the moment. I was not running while staring at my phone; I was not doing lifting dumbbells while replying to texts in between reps. I was just in the moment. It was awesome. Better yet, it was freeing.
I had this thought – “I’m here training and conditioning my muscles, but it’s my actual thumbs (are there muscles in there? there has to be, right?) that need the most help. It’s my thumbs that reach for the apps (Hello, Facebook!), for the notification of new emails, and for the keyboard letters to respond to a text. It’s those dang thumbs fault I’m so addicted to my phone.
But it’s actually not their fault; it’s mine and no one else’s. I’m the culprit who manipulates my thumbs to respond to the slightest break in my schedule to see what the world has been up to since I had last checked (no more than 12 minutes ago, I’m sure). It’s my fault, and mine only.
So me and my thumbs have got some work to do. Actually, I’ve got some work to do. My thumbs…they actually need a break.