Breaking My iPhone Addiction: Escape To Fiction Land


Every night after the babies have gone to sleep and I’ve written my blog post, I get in bed and check email on my iphone. It sounds wrong just writing it. I’ve had a smart phone for less than a year but already I’m disturbingly addicted.

Happily, yesterday for the first time since the twins were born ten months ago I started a novel, Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth. I’d pulled it off the bookshelf earlier in the day when I had a moment during baby nap time and read just a couple pages–enough to get hooked. So last night when I climbed in bed, it was with my book.

The babies were peacefully asleep, the house quiet, and in the pages of the book I was transported away from these walls, which surround me day after day, and to New York at the turn of the century. Grand Central Station, and Ms. Lily Bart all bright rustling silk amidst the drab summer crowd. Mr. Selden spots her and they set out in a hansom for a cup of tea.

Lily Bart is troubled, but her problems are not my problems. Her concerns are completely absorbing and engrossing, but they are her concerns. For those moments turning the pages in the quiet house, there was nothing else but Ms. Bart smoking a cigarette in Mr. Selden’s dark, comfortable library, and tea and cake being served by a beautiful lady in a lurching railway car. How delicious. How different from the Internet, which is less a portal to another world and more a black hole of insecurity about this one.

This afternoon when I got back from my walk both babies were asleep. Excitedly I parked the stroller and ran to get my book. But it wasn’t the same. I kept waiting for the babies to wake any second, looking up to check on them, which was too distracting. I couldn’t really escape.

Tonight, though, it’s back to Lily Bart. Internet and iPhone, you have nothing on good fiction.

16 thoughts on “Breaking My iPhone Addiction: Escape To Fiction Land

  1. So true! I also have had an iPhone for less than a year and find myself constantly checking my emails on it. Fortunately I also have at least half an hour a day to read. However, I’ll take reading over cell phone any day.

    • I know, I feel bad about how addicted I’ve become to the iphone an checking email. Before the iphone, I didn’t feel the need to check every second. I hate that feeling!

  2. I totally get the “disturbingly addicted” cell phone/technology thing. My dilemma is that it’s so conveniently convenient and grabbing it is so much easier than grabbing a book. So I bridge the gap by reading on my phone/iPad/computer, even though I prefer the kinesthetic experience of reading a real book (including the smell of the pages).

    • I know. I’m completely addicted, but I don’t even read on the iphone besides the occasional article. I check email and facebook and really waste time. Can’t say I’m doing anything enlightening on there.

  3. You’re right, there’s nothing quite like a good novel to transport you away. Oh how I love a good book! But I confess I also have an addiction to my smartphone and it’s about feeling connected in the way I need. I don’t mean chatting on Facebook or rattling off emails, I mean reading posts like yours. There’s nothing quite like that either!

    • Well, true. I definitely get something from the blogosphere that feeds me in a good way. But I do spend much too much time checking email and Facebook on my phone. Especially at night when I get in bed, I feel like that rightfully should be reading time. Thanks for your kind words!!

  4. Oh, gosh I get you! I watch HULU or NETFLIX to get to sleep on my iPhone. Missing my kindle which I left on an airplane a couple months back. I used that thing EVERY night to escape into fiction. Fluffy, unrealistic fiction. It was awesome. Usually I fell asleep on the first page but it was better than TV on the iPhone. I have the Kindle Ap on the iPhone but the pages are so tiny that I have to constantly swipe to keep up with myself. I hate it. I need a new Kindle… – the wifey

    • Yeah, I have a Kindle, too and I like it. Though there are enough books on the bookshelves I haven’t read to keep me busy for a long time :). I know what you mean about falling asleep on the first page–that is the problem with reading at night…or maybe that’s the great thing about it. Thank you for commenting!!

  5. I feel so bad for being addicted to my iPhone. I use it to read blogs and for comments etc. I have reduced my time on facebook, but I’m probably spending more time on WP. I think we’ll always have mothers’ guilt!

    • Mother’s guilt, plus it just makes me feel sort of unhealthy. Books do something completely different to your brain, if that even makes sense. But I do love blogs 🙂

  6. Good for you to put the phone down…I am terrible at putting my iPhone away but also very bothered by how often I use it. I don’t want my girls to think of mom as always having her attention on her phone instead of on them.

    PS I remember reading House of Mirth back in high school and really enjoying it. Great choice!

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