mobile cleansing and the babies thrown out in that bathwater

please note: i’m cross-posting this blog to facebook and will read both sets of comments. please use the blog if you’re able to so facebook doesn’t eat the world.

i love this article by jeremy vandehey about “mobile cleansing”. i nodded my head throughout. again: it’s all about balance. it’s been bothering my for years – the to-check-or-not-to-check question, and while i’ve trumpeted and lauded the internet for bringing us all together…i’ve also watched a lot of human moments, relationships, and connections.


about two or three years ago i started feeling like a hypocrite, so i began to try and make some pro-active changes. one is that i leave my phone on silent at all times. when i sit down for a meal or a hang with anyone, i turn the phone onto airplane mode so i’m not tempted to catch up. i try not the cheat when going to the bathroom. i know the twitchy feeling.


neil and i made a pact to keep our phones out of the bed/bedroom, and poetically enough, when it worked, it worked beautifully. when we got too busy and/or our relationship started to hit rocky patches, the phones would travel back into bed with us. excuses like “but i’m just using it for the alarm” would devolve into “let me just check the phone for emergencies…” at which point you start asking yourself:

what’s an actual…emergency?

if an “emergency” is making sure the flight tomorrow is on time, or that your assistant got that package off to the publisher, or that someone answered a twitter DM about that potential interview…

well…those aren’t “emergencies”. that’s actually what we used to call “work”. it’s the shit you’re not supposed to do in bed when you’re supposed to be connecting with the person you’re with.

and emergency is a friend on a deathbed, a suicide watch, or like jeremy says in the article, a pregnant wife about to drop a baby. that’s a reason to take the phone to bed and leave it on.

there’s a section in my book that touches on this, when i’m visiting with a Sick Anthony and need to refresh my phone every two minutes because my kickstarter was about to hit the million dollar mark.

i’ve watched my time with him, too, devolve because of our phones. it used to be that we would go on walks and give each other undivided attention. now we’re both sucked into the distraction. he goes to check the phone, i go to check the phone.

neil and i have occasionally spent entire cab rides not talking to each other because we’re so busy talking to The World.

it’s hard. we all struggle with this shit, nowadays. it takes work. but it pays off, if you can manage to make agreements, with the one thing we seem to be chasing. real connection.


baby. bathwater.

and all that.

(via nikki volpicelli, thanks gal)

p.s. i’m sending book tour dates to my mailing list tomorrow and those on there will get first crack at tickets. sign up at

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