Phone Baskets and Sacred Spaces

There is a basket in my front hallway. It is where my phone lives when I am at home. And if I want to use my phone, I consign myself to doing my business in the front hallway.

Since my phone moved to its home in the basket, I find myself interacting with the entranceway as a distinct room in my house. In a sense, the hallway is the internet. Or, at least at a minimum, it represents the distractions and clamour of the internet.

What’s in the rest of the house? Family, books, and little shrines of furniture devoted to dining, chatting, playing, and writing. And all of these activities are more important to me than my inbox. Over time, a spacial differentiation occurs. The hallway becomes a physical boundary marker: it is a buffer between the people and activities I love the most vis-a-vis everything else in the world that wants to interrupt.

When I leave my phone in the basket in the front hallway, the house transforms into a home, instead of a remote office. Not only a home but also a sanctuary: a place to be free from enslavement to correspondence and exchange; a place for talking, eating, reading, doodling, and thinking.

A home is only a ’domain’ if it is distinctive from the rest of the world. And increasingly it seems to me that ’the internet’ and ’the rest of the world’ are synonyms. My front hallway has become the frontlines in keeping the world at bay.

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