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I can read again! That's in no small part due to some kind words from Brunettepett and Rotrude. It could be you all are accustomed to Making a Difference, one life at a time etc. but I thought you should know that it really mattered to me.

A little human reassurance helped me see that my smartphone made me dumb

I realised that reading on the phone had trained me to interrupt myself. Since life also interrupts me all the time, I had actually trained my brain to jerk away from the text constantly. If you add in that I was a submerssive reader rather than a factual reader, it meant I could never get in deep enough to have a good wallow.

I actually changed the media policy for my entire family after this revelation. No kidding. And -after a little teeth gnashing- the kids immediately became happier. So thanks again.

I'm happy to submerge up to my hippopotomous eyeballs in a story again without seeing the dreaded "bath mat" call to reality.

"Bath mat" comes from a wonderful book by Margaret Mahy (That's a rec) The Changeover. It's adolescent fantasy about a girl who becomes a witch in order to save her brother. The best, most enviable part of it is how the real world shifts seamlessly into the fantastical. She knows a guy at school is a wizard and finally asks for his help on that assumption without ever going to a library or receiving a prophesy or meeting a pixie. She just recognizes him. And she's right. (I have a weakness for symobolists, OK. No laughing.) When it's her turn to become magical, to make the "Changeover" of the title, it's very important that she not jerk out of the ritual reality. There's one terrible moment when she stops seeing magic and starts looking at the every day, ordinary bathroom floor.

That's the "bath mat" moment.

Date: 2015-06-23 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brunettepet.livejournal.com
Yay to doing a reset! I'm happy to have been encouraging and delighted you've found your way back to enjoying books.

I'll have to read The Changeover. It sounds wonderful

Date: 2015-06-26 07:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rotrude.livejournal.com
Super stoked!

Date: 2015-06-30 07:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wanderlust48.livejournal.com
So what is the changed media policy for your family now , sorry if I'm a little blur?

I agree to reading in my phone or iPad with constant notifications is very distracting, so I've set them off for my iPad, and use an old phone for reading that doesn't have a SIM card (so no texts!)

Date: 2015-06-30 11:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rachelautumn.livejournal.com
Waaaan! You could never be a little blur! Whatever that might be (suspect typo but I kinda like it, so I'm keeping it.)

The media policy is very generous. It's basically
1. No iPhone inside in front of kids (that's for me)
2. Only 1 1//2 hours total on ipad. Reading counts.
3. Little tab doohickey on mantle x 3 to be torn down each time a show is watched
4. Reading on the iPad still counts

That's stI'll a lot of media time, but The point was to retrain brains rather than start aspirational lying. (Yes, I know many people far nobler than I who eliminated screen time altogether. Their children also never eat dessert and when they play with mine it's all: yes they can have (insert name of low class insalubrious activity here) but we don't do that.)

I don't think the pings and alerts that come on would have been enough to distract me from reading. I fell into the habit of checking tumblr or checking communities after an internal poke that I had trained into myself during a rather wretched year (last year should be expunged.). You should be safe!

I'm doing better myself again, except now I have the old problem with too many unshelvable books lying around...if only I could train us all to be neat!!!


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January 2017


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