Is this thing on?

I've written about my desire to get better at taking a break from tech (well really my phone and all that goes along with it) before. Suffice it to say, these attempts have all been fruitless. In the spirit of new season, new beginning, at the start of September I did something which might seem counter-intuitive but it has made a huge difference in my constant battle to untether myself from my phone. What did I do you ask? I turned the sound ON. I know what you’re thinking, wouldn’t this only make my phone more present? Hear me out…

Yes, this is my actual home screen. Good thing there's nothing embarrassing.

Yes, this is my actual home screen. Good thing there's nothing embarrassing.

When my phone was vibrate only (silent when I sleep so word to the wise, if you have an emergency in the middle of the night call 911 and then try someone else because I won’t get the memo until my eyes open in the AM), every vibration and every thing that might be a vibration would lead to me pulling out my phone. Other than phone calls, there was no way to distinguish what platform/mode of communication was trying to get my attention and by extension, when a vibration warranted immediate phone-checking and when it didn’t. Now, my phone makes different sounds depending on whether I’m getting a call, text, email, tweet response, FB message, Slack notification- you get the idea. I can easily determine what needs me ASAP and what doesn’t. There are also no more phantom vibrations and when I’m out somewhere, rather than hold my phone for fear of missing a vibration (and inevitably walking around mostly glued to the device), my phone stays in my bag. If I hear something, great and if I miss it, that’s ok too. Overall, I’m much more present and attuned to what’s around me and I feel freer.

Of course there are times when vibrate goes back on (movies, special events, etc.), but those situations aside, “nothing can stop me, I’m all the way up.” (No, not really all the way up, that would be so obnoxious and drive me crazy but that song always gets stuck in my head and here it felt appropriate.) 

What's your phone style: sound, vibrate, silent? What songs are always stuck in your head?