Unplugged: Digital Detox
Last weekend after battling the flu, my sister dragged me out for a girls night and it was a great time – so great a time, it ended with, the horror of all first world, modern day horrors, losing my phone. :(
I know, you all just collectively gasped reading that ;)
It’s funny, as I told people the story the reaction was nearly always the same despite age, gender, occupation or parent status “Oh no! My whole world is on my phone. I don’t know what I would do.” And I would laugh and smile and agree, however, not that I was happy about it, but it wasn’t really that bad. I’ll save you the angst ridden tale of my search to find it; needless to say, it ended with me coming up empty handed and having to get a new one. I was super bummed and angry at myself since I now had to spend money to replace it, and incredibly sad about all the pictures I lost that I hadn’t backed up but overall I treated it like an enforced digital detox and here’s what I learned:
-I don’t know how to get anywhere. The following night I met friends at a fairly local spot that we had never been to and I had to Google directions before I left the house because I had no clue how to navigate to the address it was at.
-I spend entirely too much time looking at my phone while getting ready in the morning. I cut about 15 minutes off my routine without changing anything but the lack of phone usage.
-Commercials are awful. On the rare occasion I watch live TV I usually am scrolling away during the commercials. I ended up sitting with my laptop because I couldn’t stand watching them with nothing to distract me.
-The constant stream somehow adds to my personal volatility. I found I was much friendlier and much more Zen without the barrage of information being flung at me all day long.
-I rely on my phone for a lot of important information! My bank balance, my school assignments, important phone numbers and addresses…I could keep going. I keep a paper day planner to organize my events and to-do lists but anything that I use infrequently or that changes too frequently to bother writing down I access multiple times a day via the phone and I had to take extra steps when I was without it to keep track of those things.
-Without my phone I would literally not know what time it is, what day it is or what the weather is. I asked the time so much I sounded like a broken record.
The whole experience definitely made me think and I’m going to make an effort to disconnect more frequently despite the added prep work involved! I’m also going to phone proof the important information I need to access and the content I could lose so if this ever happens again the pain is minimal.
Have you ever done a digital detox (whether by choice or otherwise)? What were your takeaways?