I think we have all had that moment when you fumble your cell phone and time seemed to slow while you watched it tumble to the ground. During that torturing descent your mind was only concerned about whether this would be the accidental drop that shatters your phone, or if it would simply hit the ground and miraculously survive the plummet with only some minor dents and dings. I had such an occurrence during the first of a five day vacation, breather, from the holiday season and, with arms clenched against my sides and my body tense, I watched my phone hit the pavement. All seemed to be safe. The screen didn’t shatter, the casing wasn’t scratched, but I came to find out the internal mechanisms, of which I will never understand, must have been jarred loose and my display screen simply wouldn’t work anymore.
So, there I was with a fully functioning phone that I couldn’t use any longer. Like a desktop without a monitor, my phone was 100% functional but lacked a display screen. To put a long story short, my phone was broken and I now had to face the perilous moments of my day where I would be void of the wonderfully distracting apps and games that keep me sane during the most mundane tasks.
Although I appreciated the forced separation from phone calls and texts, instagram, twitter, facebook, and other finger manipulated nonsense; I was mostly concerned about the absence of Angry Birds, Simpsons: Tapped Out, and Infinity Blade. It took me a day or two to get over this fear and realize how irrational I was being, but aren’t we all somewhat caught in the same mindset nowadays?
There is a common understanding, or theory, that boredom breeds creativity and this is the best argument that combats the level of entertainment and distraction we are immersed in at any given time. I have to admit that I was overly aware of the increased time I spent with my thoughts and, surprisingly, I genuinely enjoyed the time. If it were not for the simple security provided by a cellphone that my wife can get ahold of me at any time, I think I would have continued along without replacing the device. I would happily enjoy the benefits of empty pockets, genuine conversations I would spend looking at a person instead of my cellphone while half listening, and maybe that phantom vibration I feel against my thigh when my cell was nowhere near me would go away.
All in all, I think the experience made me come to terms with the fact that mobile gaming truly is boredom’s crutch. Instead of taking the time to read a book, look at nature, talk to a human being, or come up with something creative, we are much more satisfied to launch some birds at some pigs. It may be important, if not necessary, for us all to unplug once in awhile. I don’t mean to sound like an outdated parent (although I am on the verge of becoming one) but I think this is necessary for our souls as much as our interpersonal relationships.
Put the phone down. In general, there aren’t many people that will notice, let alone care, if you don’t answer a text about whether or not you saw American Idol the night before. Tap into your creative side. Allow your boredom to breed something unique that you can share with the world.
Then, and only then, pick the phone back up and take a picture. Then post it to the annoyingly numerous sites we have available, and show the world what can be done if we avoid assigning Homer to shop at the Quick-E-Mart for just one day.
Give it a shot and tell us how it went.
I dare you.