Feeling frustrated with the world and just to see if I could do it, I decided to turn off my phone Friday at 5pm and not turn it back on until Monday morning – no laptop either. I was off the grid for 60 hours, and it was easier than a I thought.
The hardest part of being without my phone was what to do with my hands. Kind of like what I assume a smoker goes through when they quit smoking. Unable to do things on my phone while I watched tv, I constantly held my remote pressing random buttons. At least while reading a book, I had something to hold. I guess I didn’t really achieve my goal of living in the moment, enjoying solely what I am watching/reading because I kept thinking “ooh I want to post/tweet about this.”
Surprisingly not being on Social Media was the easiest part (actually the no texting and no email was the easiest part) of not having my phone. The most difficult part was not having my calendar to add things to my schedule, not being able to look things up on Google and IMDB and not being able to take photos of my adorable dogs – never mind not being able to look up the weather, check my bank account or order something on amazon. (I rarely actually talk on my phone, so that was not even a consideration.)
It wasn’t a true struggle though. My hand didn’t start shaking from phone withdraw. I tried to fool myself into thinking it was a simpler time by watching The Bionic Woman (finished season 1), Santa Barbara (currently on August 1985 – have episodes through 1991), Big Brother 14 (finished the season) and continued reading my Carl Perkins biography. It’s always comforting for me to watch tv shows and movies from my youth. (Ok Big Brother 14 isn’t from my youth, but it is a great season and I was already halfway through it when the weekend started.)
I had to turn my phone on Sunday night, so I would have my alarm for Monday morning. At that time I did quickly check my Facebook pages for work (not my personal stuff) to make sure no one commented anything bad on them – and they didn’t. Monday morning I checked all of my stuff and saw I only missed a few texts, messages, emails, tweets and notifications – nothing that couldn’t wait.
This weekend was a lesson in self discipline. I now know I can be without my phone, and I will be ok – the world will not end. My original goal was to feel more refreshed and less annoyed with the world and mankind, and I didn’t realize until this very moment as I am writing this that I think I achieved that. Maybe a weekend of almost total solitude actually did help me be less frustrated with everyone and everything. Granted I could have achieved that with just staying off social media and not texting or emailing (that way I could have still looked things up and put things on my calendar), but I have this OCD need to reply to every text, email, tweet and notification as soon as I see it. I did not trust myself to have the phone on and next to me, but not respond to anyone. Maybe that will be next weekend’s test …