No cell phone for 24 hours? Why would I do that? Well, in 2017, I’ve decided to do a regular thing on the blog where I give up something for a whole day and see how I feel. This first one happened to be my cell phone which I gave up (mostly) for a whole day during the holiday break.
The reason I chose this is because cell phones have quickly overtaken our lives. It’s amazing how much time we spend looking down at these devices instead of looking out at the world around us.
I wanted to disconnect and, to do this, I stop using my phone to:
- Check social media
- Play with apps/games
- Listen to music
- Take pictures
No big deal, right? Only there’s so many reasons why you might need to have it with you.
- I have an aging grandmother so I worry that my family could be messaging me.
- I teach online and worry that my students might be emailing me since my school requires me to respond within 24 hours.
- I have young children and obsessively take pictures of them.
- I don’t want my friends to think I’m ignoring them.
Sigh. It’s ridiculous, right? How did we possibly ever manage before the invention of smart phones? Meanwhile, countries like France are encouraging people to unplug by passing a law that allows employees to “disconnect from work email.” Unless you are saving lives, why shouldn’t we all be doing that?
What happened during my 24 hours?
- I felt less stressed. I realized that my heart is always pounding a little because I think I’m missing a message, story, or the best cat meme ever.
- I learned to listen to music in other ways. You know, like the radio or CD (yes, I still have CDs!).
- I thought about digging up a *real* camera (gasp!) but Josh just used his phone to capture the 400th picture of the twins that day.
- We created trivia games to learn new things about each other.
- The best part was the eye contact I initiated with the babies and Hayley. The worst part was that Josh and Joshua were not doing this challenge so they regularly were checking their own devices. I was surprised by how annoyed I felt and I realized that the younger kids must feel similarly.
I think I need to do this more often. It’s going to take some discipline. Maybe I will need to set designated times to check my phone but I need to set it aside more often.
It’s amazing how many things have become associated with it. Meditation, for example. I need my app for that, right?! Photography. Surely, I would never survive if I had to go back to using a roll of film that only allowed me to take 24 pictures!
Or do I need to find less digital, more human ways of living life again? I guess I’ll need to have more cell phone-free days to figure it out but I’m definitely going to try!