I'm out of town. When you read this, I'll be blissfully offline.

I often talk to my friends about phone addiction to understand how the effects of spending too much time with one's screens impacts those whose lives don't revolve around evaluating them. Studies continue to show that after spending too much time with phones, half-concentrating on the person talking to them, the effects are far-reaching and devastating: we are losing the ability to concentrate. So I'm going to spend a weekend concentrating on one thing, and that's the people around me, and on myself.

I genuinely think that the very technology we draw closer to our bodies every day is the same thing making us tired, and anxious, and alone. Be it refreshing Instagram one too many times or falling down a YouTube black hole, it's too easy to get sucked into a vacuum of myopia: the internet is at once never-ending and unknowable and yet completely bite-sized and accessible, contained within a supercomputer in our pockets. It's quite intimidating.

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How many of you use your phone before bed? How has that impacted the number of books that you read every year? For me, if I can find more than an hour a week to read the novel I've been trying to finish for a good six months now, that's generous. If my phone isn't the first thing I look at in the morning, it's because I slept in and am still sleeping. And as much exercise as I do to shake away the cob webs, if I don't make a concerted effort to avoid looking at anything that emits light (even the sun — especially the sun) for a few hours a day, I will almost certainly end up with a headache.

So this weekend is meant to do just that. Meanwhile, here's what I'm excited for in the weeks ahead.

  • The Galaxy Note 8 is officially arriving on August 23. It's a known quantity at this point, but I'm holding out for some old fashioned Samsung surprises.
  • The Essential Phone is late, but it's coming. What impact can it realistically have, even if it's the reincarnation of the perfect Nexus phone?
  • I'm legitimately excited about the Moto Z2 Force announcement next week. The Moto Z2 Play is almost a perfect phone, but for its poor low-light camera abilities. If Moto can finally pull off a decent nighttime shooter, we've got a winner.
  • I've been using the HTC U11 for the past few days, and I'm kind of in love. It's exactly what I want in a phone: powerful, attractive, with an amazing camera, great battery life, and software that gets out of its own way. More of this, please.

Hope you get to enjoy your weekend, as I plan to!

Have a good one.


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