Story Challenge Day 26: Happy Accident?

It all started at 5:45 am, when my Fitbit buzzed me awake. It was the first of two alarms I set so I’d be sure to get up to bring my mom to the airport. For the record, I’m not a person who snoozes alarms, but I am a person who gets anxious about things like making flights on time. So two alarms it was.

But I digress.

I fumbled for my phone as I woke up. I pressed it awake along with me, but something happened. I’m not sure how I put my phone in the “app editing mode.” I’m doubly not sure how I completely eliminated the first full page of apps – all the folders, all of the icons…GONE.

I stared at the empty home screen and panicked. What if I had just deleted all of those apps off of my phone? A wave of panic rolled through the lower portion of my belly and up through my throat.

Thankfully, everything was still on my phone, just…invisible. Then, I discovered how I could drag apps back onto my home screen one at a time.

Friends, I took that as a sign from the universe. It’s possible, quite possible, that I need to spend less time interacting with that shiny object.

So I pared down my home screen to only include the most essential things I use. Anything else I want, I’ll have to search for.

My new, spartan home screen…and, if you’re wondering, YES. I did arrange these for some semblance of color coordination.

Am I on to something?
Will this strategy break the tethers that bind me to my phone?
Am I fooling myself?
Will I say “phooey!” and put everything back on?

THAT remains to be seen…


Interested in learning more about the March Slice of Life Challenge, or wanting to read more great posts? Head over to the Two Writing Teachers site!

Published by Lainie Levin

Mom of two, full-time teacher, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and holder of a very full plate

15 thoughts on “Story Challenge Day 26: Happy Accident?

  1. Oh, I hear this all so loud and clear! Good luck on your experiment – I hope you experience new serendipitous moments not tethered to the home screen! Thanks for the well written slice!

  2. Pairing down is always a good idea. Do we refill the empty space with other things? Does an empty space just cry out to be filled? Do voids need to be filled? For me, unfortunately, the answer to all of these is “yes”.

    1. Keep those fingers crossed! In the meantime, I also need to remember not to just replace my phone with screen time on my computer.

  3. Good luck!! I did something similar when I got a new phone a few months ago. I do find myself searching a bit more, but I think the pull to do the “mindless” is definitely reduced.

  4. Haha, I also panic if I accidentally ‘delete’ something from my phone…I also panic when the little message comes in weekly telling me I spent MORE time on my phone last week than the week before….
    I feel your strategy could work!

  5. I have faith in you, Lainie. I streamlined my phone’s homepage three years ago and never looked back. My homepage is actually blank, only the default icons at the bottom and my chosen heart of the moment (Silver Fox Rupert Graves – don’t ask). Everything else I have to swipe to reach and it works for me.

    1. I was close to taking that step too, Raivenne! I’ll see what happens to my screen time in the next few weeks.

  6. Ack! The lessons of the phone! How many have we learned?? I could feel the icy hand of panic grabbing hold as you looked at your screen…my friend who’s studying clinical counseling says that the level of anxiety people experience when they lose a phone is as high as a loss in a relationship (I am not telling it clearly – I will have to ask her to explain this again but I get this much: HIGH ANXIETY). We are too attached (a benign substitute for dependent, addicted). I think we would be appalled if we counted our minutes down the rabbit holes. Quite possible we ALL need to spend less time interacting with these shiny objects… once again, you nail a truth with perfect wit and wisdom.

    1. It DEFINITELY woke me up that morning, that’s for sure! I have already found that I’m spending less time on my phone, and I’m using that as incentive to further retreat: leaving my phone in another room, not carrying it with me always. It’s a tall order!

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