An idle phone

I recently installed a new app on my phone to track headaches (and according to the app, as of now, I’ve been headache-free for 18 hours!).

The app does this cool thing, where you can record a headache and also indicate some potential causes, like stress, dehydration, and lack of sleep. In terms of sleep, the app keeps track of the number of hours you sleep per night (is it really true that my six hours of sleep per night just isn’t cutting it??). But there’s no on and off sleep buttons like my Fitbit has. The app just knows.

The first night after I installed the app, I awoke to a message from Migraine Buddy. “Did you sleep from 10:38 p.m. to 5:49 a.m.?” Well, yes, I did. How’d you notice that? Did I snore really loudly??

A few days later, while attending services at my favorite independent young adult prayer group, Windy City Minyan, I picked up my phone at the end of the night. “Did you sleep from 6:47 p.m. to 11:15 p.m.?”

My phone thinks that the only possible explanation for not touching it more than four hours is that I was sleeping — not that I was enjoying a lovely evening with old friends, new friends, the songs of Shabbat, and delicious food. Oh my. Is this a world we want to be in?

I’ll be the first to admit that my phone often feels like another limb. But I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry when my phone assumes I’m sleeping if I haven’t checked Facebook in a few hours. I guess for me, it would be pretty unusual behavior; but it’s a sad state of society.

Let us all try to disconnect a bit more. Read a bit more. Spend more time taking walks outside or catching up with friends — with the phone safely put away. And you know what? I wonder if maybe my headaches will go away naturally.

Thank you for reading this blog on your phone or your computer — the irony of you using electronics to read this article that I wrote using electronics discussing the need to put away electronics for extended periods of time is not lost on me — but then let’s get together and hang out in person, phones away.

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