cell phone diet: the right of first refusal

To decrease screen time and retake our brains from the insidiousness of having a computer brain at the ready for all of our thinking, compromising our attention, increasing anxiety, resulting a low-grade ever-distracted state:

1. install hourly chime app from app store on phone for daytime hours.
2. at the hour chime, allow yourself to phone for 5 minutes (whatever you want, texts, instagram, safari).
3. otherwise, no cell phone use aside from calls or maps or emergencies.
4. use a laptop or desktop computer for searching, reading, etc.
5. for longer dives into apps that only exist on the phone (e.g. instagram), allow yourself one hour a week on a set day (e.g. Monday).
6. before going to bed, allow yourself to catch up on any texts that were not answered during the day.
7. steps 1-6 are goals. if you don't get there immediately, don't beat yourself up about it. it's a process of uncoupling.

The concept is that one has the right of first refusal not to look at one's phone. Nothing is commanding us to do it. It will always be there, waiting. Nothing is really that urgent. Just wait until the hour. Once cell phone use was limited to 30-45 min per day, I have noticed a real difference.

The inspiration for the cell phone diet is to go back in time. What was I doing then? 2015 (The early iphone era)? Mainly just using the phone for text/calls.  LTE was pretty spotty/poor.


era of disposability

we live in an era where everything, from clothing to media content, is designed to be rapidly desired, consumed, and then discarded. history, ethics, literature, religion, civics, empathy, everything of another era that was valued for the robust strong ties it created in society now has little value because it cannot be corporatized, commercialized, and capitalized upon. those old flows have been fully uncoded and put in service of new flows that maximize churn and profit via disposability. the ability to feel otherwise now signals to others a vulnerability worthy of denigration, ignorance, and apathy. the tempo and cycle of culture is running at a fever pitch where technology is no longer in service of humans, but instead humans are running blindly to catch up with everything that is happening in their phones.


"There is no gift for the beloved. The lover alone possesses his gift of love."
-- Toni Morrison


molly sarle

connan mockasin, thalia hall, 2019

opener helena deland

catching up

happy place at long pond, wellfleet

train they call the city of new orleans


dave and matt

jenn wasner

khruangbin at lincoln theater

george warren rickey

may 25 2019

the kid stays in the picture

skylar gudasz