Oh that smartphone

Throughout this weekend I’m going to be trying to avoid using my phone. I can remember back to a time before mobile phones. It was a simpler time. For context on that statement, 2020 has been a weird year. That time before mobile phones was about two decades ago. Phones even flipped open and using a cellular phone every day was not commonplace. So far today I have picked up my Google Pixel 5 smartphone three times. First, to silence an alarm that rudely woke me up so early on a Saturday morning. Second, to get the Google Authenticator code necessary to login to the website via 2FA. Third, to silence the backup alarm that went off while I was sitting at this desk. Beyond those three usages of my smartphone I’m trying to just leave it in the Pelican G40 case for the rest of the day. If for some reason that the phone actually rings today, then I’ll check it and manage my calls as necessary, but that is the only caveat to my set the phone down plan. Full disclosure: my text messages right now are shared to my browser so I can see if somebody sent me a text.

Topic: On sports trading cards

My purchases on eBay are sort of the bottom of the market for a few different things. Over the last few years I have bid on professionally autographed Kansas City Royals and Chiefs cards. Those are cards that were signed with a representative of a sports card corporation and officially part of the sports trading card. That is different from when somebody asks an athlete to sign something they just randomly had with them or something to that effect. These were signed in a controlled condition and are probably an authentic autograph. A few of my saved eBay searches show me about cards under $5 for those teams and I just scroll through them a couple of times a week. That is one of the ways I use my smartphone every week. Generally you see a lot of signed cards for players that are not the main stars. Those are the cards that fall into the category where I can make one low bid on them and see what happens. 

Topic: Thinking about television

Today I did watch the latest episode of The WAN Show from Linus Tech Tips.[1] During the course of starting my day it was a mildly pleasant technology show to have on in the background. Watching television in general was not a major part of American life until it was and then it represented a major time commitment for a lot of people. This month I paid for Google TV to be able to watch the myriad of Jayhawk basketball games. Outside of watching live sports we don’t really use the television for anything on a consistent basis. 

Topic: Buying some new t-shirts

Back in January of 2017 I replaced all of my t-shirts with Columbia performance cotton stretch V-Neck shirts via a series of online orders. Right now (still via online orders) I’m looking to replace those shifts with some new ones. This time around the search is going to be based on where the shirts are manufactured. My next set of primary daily wear shirts will be made in America. My first test run will be of one shirt each from Goodwear and from James Perse.[2][3] I still have one shirt from James Perse in the drawer that was purchased some time ago and is one size smaller than I can wear comfortably. I’m going to need to do a little bit of a trial before committing to buying 10 shirts from any one brand online. The shirts need to fit well, be comfortable, and be easy to maintain with regular washing. The last round of shirts have been worn about one time per week for three years or roughly 150 times per shirt. That is pretty heavy usage for any daily wear t-shirt. 

Topic: Uninterrupted time

It feels like in the past people got a lot more opportunity to work without interruption. Maybe I’m nostalgic about the prospect of uninterrupted time. Finding the time to really dig into problems and work in a deep way becomes harder and harder. Disruptions are everywhere. Distractions abound if you don’t try to keep them under control. The nature of this entire post is really about how smartphones and television have distracted people.

Footnotes:

[1] WAN Show December 4, 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGY9hEVk_Bc 
[2] Goodwear adult short sleeve crew neck shirt https://www.goodwear.com/products/gt-2800?variant=23178447745 
[3] James Perse short sleeve v-neck shirt https://www.jamesperse.com/mens-short-sleeve-v-neck-mlj3352-100404?color=1931

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