Monday 24 April 2023

How did I fill boring moments before I had a smartphone?

I'm constantly trying to cut back on my smartphone use. I can be successful, I'm good at putting the phone in another room while I do some reading or crafting. The times I struggle are those moments which aren't quite long enough to get stuck into something else.

For example when I'm ready to go out and it's not time to leave, if I'm waiting in the car for someone or while I'm making dinner but there isn't anything that needs chopping or stirring for a few minutes. I also regularly pick up my phone to procrastinate instead of getting on with something boring that I need to do like housework.

I had these moments before a smartphone of course, and it really wasn't that long ago, but it's difficult to remember what it was like!

When I was much younger and found myself waiting around I used to occupy myself with a word game. I would look for a long word on a sign or something nearby and see how many smaller words I could make from the letters. I got very good at it, and I loved the satisfaction of finding a long word. I did this all the time, but I've not done it for years!

If I was waiting for something to finish or I had a few odd minutes I daydreamed, I've always had an active imagination. But I don't remember worrying or getting anxious about things, instead I used to spend a lot of time making up stories in my head.  

I definitely had much better focus. When I was doing homework I didn't look for micro distractions, I just got on with it if it needed to be done. I would be hopeless now, with a phone to pick up whenever things got difficult!

If I was waiting around for someone, which we did a lot more when we didn't have phones to let people know if we were running late, I suppose I must just have stood there and looked at what was going on around me. I'm always arriving early, and I remember just sitting on a bench or something and waiting patiently!

I did use to read magazines more often, perhaps they were a way of filling a few minutes at a time without the commitment of a book. I also watched more television. We had it on in the mornings while we were getting ready (The Big Breakfast!) so if we were early there was something to watch while we waited.

Woman waiting and scrolling on her phone
Photo credit Artem Beliaikin via Unsplash

If I want to cut down on my smartphone use it's these moments that I need to manage. I'm going to start playing my word game again, and maybe trying to take a few moments just to breathe or to watch what's going on around me rather than getting sucked into the mindless scrolling!


  1. It is hard to remember what life was like before we had smart phones. I know I always had a magazine to read in my bag and oh wow! The Big Breakfast is a blast from the past, I had forgotten all about that. I used to watch it every morning. lol

  2. I'm taking my kids on holiday in the summer to possibly somewhere with no WiFi...I dont know how they'll cope but seriously I definitely need to cut down on my screen Time. My phone has modes that I can turn on so that helps.


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