hard reset

Written by Patrick J Turner Jr

Published on December 20th, 2023

I regularly find myself kind of overwhelmed by technology and my reliance on it. Each morning I wake up via alarms set on my phone, I check the weather for the day using an app on my phone, and then fight the urge to check any online messages I may have received during the night. On the way to work I may put on some music on my phone or check traffic on my phone. Then, when I get to work I allow myself to check my messages over my morning coffee. This usually turns into me using my phone for longer than intended.

I guess the point is, I use my phone a lot. Throughout the day I'll check my phone countless times for messages and scroll apps for tiny bits of dopamine. I could be spending that time doing something more productive or even just anything more condusive to a healthier mentality or attention span. It's become this sort of mindless habit; I pick up my phone, open an app, see no new notifications, open the next one, and then go back to the first app. This repeats until I snap out of it and focus on something else.

A lot of this is just because I have iPad baby brain and have never been able to focus well. Ooooh a device that will let me do a million things at once? Yes please. Perfection. I was diagnosed with ADD at age nine, and while I have long since managed to figure out how to act like a passably normal human being, I still find some degree of difficulty in trying to stay focused or avoiding focusing on certain things. Like the black monolith in my pocket that can do everything, everywhere, all at once. The future is so cool.

It's not just my phone though, I feel this urge every now and again to just wipe my entire digital existence off the face of the web. Over 22 years of life I have created at least three YouTube channels, five social media accounts, countless accounts for various websites and platforms, several blogs (mostly for school), and probably other stuff I've just forgotten about. As I've said before, I enjoy keeping an online presence, but I would be lying if I said I felt fully in control of it all.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to just do a hard reset. To just live simply and be offline, at least in the personal sense. It's an idea that lives in the back of my head. I'm sure I'll accomplish it to some degree, some day. At least for social media, the only one I still keep up with is Instagram. Once Instagram inevitably collapses or loses favor with my friends, that will be it for me. I will leave that platform and I will not join another one. I have long since deleted Twitter (I will never call it X), and never really got involved with any other socials. So I guess once that happens I'll just be on here.

Being removed from social media altogether does sound nice honestly. Maybe I would spend more time reading and writing. I might even become a more well-rounded, normal person. I think I would miss getting to keep up with everyone, but it would also just be nice to remove myself from the online ecosystem, even if just in one chunk. Well, I guess we'll see. For now, I would like to declare my NEW YEARS RESOLUTION:


I WILL use my phone less in the year of our lord 2024.

I WILL learn to play guitar and/or keyboard for my fake band PBR Soundsystem.

I WILL get a Cisco Networking certification and explore potential career paths in networking.

I MIGHT come up with a better (or worse!) band name.