My iPhone is an escape, and it’s an escape that’s always in my pocket. It’s an escape when I’m on the metro and I don’t want to face all the weary faces. It’s an escape when I’m walking down the street and I want music to shut out the world. It’s an escape when I’m at a party and the conversation doesn’t interest me. It’s an escape when there’s a cute girl I don’t have the courage to talk to. It’s an escape when I’m standing still waiting for someone.

It’s an escape from unexpected interaction, from uncomfortable situations, from the uncontrollable world. It’s an escape from facing the world as it comes at me; from life as it is.

It’s the power of distraction, and it’s easy to abuse: every time I reach for it, it’s as likely be for escapism as for utility. I often reach for it for no reason at all: out of habit, or to escape from nothing in particular. And it’s only a slip into my pocket away, at all times. The discretion for appropriate use is my responsibility alone, especially as its use is increasingly accepted without question. It’s up to me to use it right; to enrich, not detract.

The device in my pocket is rarely more important than what’s around me. Remembering that when my mind yearns for easy distraction — for anything to avoid a moment of mental idling — is the hard part.

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