I recently noticed that while texting, the tips of my thumbs tingled and not in a nice way. Maybe I had let my enthusiasm get better of me, my gentle typing had morphed from tapping into banging the letters on the screen.
Luckily I had begun as a single finger typist so it was easy for me to switch.
It didn’t help.
The sore tingling spread to the other finger tips. I checked for signs of injury, discolouration, greyscale…nothing!
Realisation dawned when the prickling spread to the palms or to be more precise, the parts cradling the phone.
Are you thinking what I was thinking?
Help! My phone was slowly cooking me .
Enlightenment arrived in the form of an article in the papers, ‘Let’s dumb down our smart phones’. Apparently we were grappling with anxiety and stress of messages sent, received, not read, not liked, the permutations and combinations were infinite. ‘Nomophobia’ (fear of being without your mobile device) was a real phobia and no, that was not what I had.
I think I have something called the Text Claw.
I know it sounds a cool name for a super hero or an X Men mutant. I absorb the powers of the internet through my fingertips and shoot … how about lasers ?
Yes! Now that would have been epic except Text Claw was attributed to a cellphone addiction. Was I an addict ?
It was back to Dr Google. I read of finger joints getting inflamed and even decommissioned (Text Claw in its inglorious form) all because one was sucked into the internet wormhole, typing and swiping and losing time.
Was it an early warning bell for me? Alright, my five minutes to scan for messages have turned into hours in the past. I’m told, I turn into a tornado wiping everything off my path after being awakened from a comatose stillness; moments ago my body was seen hunched, neck drooping, staring into a tiny screen, fingers wrapped around the mobile device in a vice-like grip.
It was a cause for concern. Decided to be proactive and restrict the use of the smart phone to need basis only.
There were times when duty called and many times sheer curiosity. Recently I blame Christopher Nolan and his sweeping film for the latter. It began with Dunkirk, the real operation, moved to the movie making, Top Ten Nolan films, Interstellar/ Inception explanation for dummies, Tesla in Prestige …
Ok ! It was down the slippery slope for me.
I really need to step up the self discipline bit, a favourite catch phrase for almost all teachers, one we like to hurl at our kids when we run out of patience.
So each day I remind myself to type tenderly, to shift the position of the phone and use the other eight fingertips as soon as the first prickling is registered. I now remember to engage air plane mode often for let’s not forget Bruce Banner turned into Hulk thanks to gamma radiation and heaven knows what Text Claw will morph into.
Yes, I’m going back to researching the old fashioned way- books, conversation and good old telly.
For now ignoring the texting tingles, keeping calm and carrying on!