This week I've been sleeping without my phone next to me. Now I leave it charging in the kitchen. It has fundamentally affected how I become restful, sleep, and wake up. Life has become even more plugged in since grad school began, and in the first semester I didn't always sleep very well. Often I'd be on my phone a bit as I got ready to close my eyes, and in moments of sleeplessness I'd reach for it to fill these frustrating little nocturnal moments. Or was it because I knew I could reach for the phone that I had moments of amnesia? I'd also reach for the phone to wake me up even though I knew it felt wrong to screen-zap my corneas into action. It was a circular predicament, and I've definitively noticed that over the last week that even as the busyness of second semester sets in I'm sleeping better and more waking up more humanely. I'd bet over the course of the week I've reduced my screen time by a few hours.
The anxiety and dependency that characterize our pervasive human-phone relationships is very much within our abilities to mediate. I don't need to read emails before I've lifted my head from the pillow, and it's healthier to unwind in bed with a book or a conversation with my partner. Of course we know these things, but this week's homework prompted me to institute a simple change that has left me feeling a refreshing piece of my humanness restored.