For some annoying reason, my phone crashes five times a day. Now, it may be because, when I decided to defect from Team Android to Team IPhone about a year ago, I bought the most cost-effective (still ridiculously overpriced) iPhone I could find: a refurbished iPhone 6S plus. Rose gold, because you asked. It’s very pretty.
Anyway, I didn’t bring it to Apple’s attention immediately because I thought well, planned obsolescence and all, maybe this is Apple’s way of punishing frugality (again, still overpriced, but I digress). Some days it happens once or twice, some days double that, and it’s irritating. I never know when I’ll be in the middle of a phone call with the school principal, or worse, a carefully curated Instagram story, and boom. Gone. The struggle is real.
When I did mention it at the Apple store a couple of weeks ago, they said mean things like “you should’ve come in right away” and “maybe you should wipe your phone.”
I’m still recuperating.
Last week something occurred to me. See, I’ve been leveraging my phone use to work on my character traits. For instance, I’ve been trying to avoid social media on Mondays and Thursdays. The Midrash tells that it was a Thursday that G‑d told Moses to ascend Mount Sinai to receive the second set of tablets after the sin of the golden calf. Forty days later, on a Monday, Moses finally descended the mountain with the new tablets, signifying that G‑d had forgiven His nation. Therefore, those days have a special element of divine favor. So on those days, I practice a more disciplined form of phone use.
This nicely aligns with my desire to contain my social media consumption in some formal, structured way. It’s win-win. I use a Jewish concept to contain my tech habits and work on my trait of discipline.
So I thought to myself that maybe my phone crashing could help me with another character trait I’m working on: patience. I’m not by nature a patient person. I want things done right and I want them done now.
I once timed the longest traffic light I know (Miramar, corner of Cedar, for the curious among you). I had imagined it was maybe 3 minutes long. But it was one minute and 17 seconds. Wow, I thought. Even I can be patient for one minute and 17 seconds. So the next time I got stuck (cursed) at the light, I practiced my deep breathing for the duration of the light. It was great! Scheduled meditation in the middle of my drive, and flexing my patience muscle all at the same time, plus curing my frustration.
What about using this technique for my phone crashes, I wondered? I was describing the issue to someone and said, “I mean, how long does it take already? Maybe a minute-and-a-half?”
Today I decided to time the duration of the crash – from the moment the phone starts freezing, up to and including reboot.
TWENTY-FIVE SECONDS. (And I’d been considering a new phone.)
So now, when my phone starts glitching, I close my eyes and practice my deep breathing – and my patience. I should really pay Apple a surcharge for this Mussar app.