We've been away on holiday this week, staying with Sam's parents in beautiful Norfolk. We stayed in a lovely apartment, on a golf course, with all the usual modern conveniences including good old Wifi. Despite the lovely surroundings and my promise to attempt to switch off, when I read an article in the Sunday paper at the weekend listing '20 Wifi Free Breaks', I had a sudden longing to be somewhere just a little more remote.
And then I remembered I could be, just by switching my phone off.
So, on Thursday I conducted a little personal experiment and turned my phone off for 24 hours. Now, I appreciate to some of you that that's no big deal, that you might regularly break away from your mobile, but for me, it WAS a big deal. Despite my initial concerns that my might phone not actually know how to turn itself back on after being off for so long, I actually found it hugely positive. Here's a few things I discovered:
- I realised how much I tap my pocket and pull my phone out. Mindlessly looking at the screen for any notifications.
- After a few hours the pocket-tapping habit was broken and it felt good to be phone free.
- I found time for things I always hope to do but never actually do (because I'm busy on my phone). Like reading my new Simple Things magazine, finding inspiration in it's articles, photos and recipes or reading the paper.
- I was present in the here and now, without being caught up with work distractions
- I felt just a little smug when I saw others on their phones and mine was SWITCHED OFF!
- Photos and memories could still be recorded (with my camera or on Sam's phone) and shared later if I really wanted to.
- I wasn't distracted by direct messages, what's app texts or emails. I knew that anything urgent would get to me somehow and in the meantime, the lack of contact felt great
- I could do it. I really DIDN'T need to have one hand in my pocket, with my phone at the ready, to whip out at any given moment.
A wise friend left me a comment on a photo I shared after this little experiment saying 'how strange it feels to unplug, correlates to how much we need to do it.' She was spot on. It felt strange but good and confirmed to me, just how much I need to do it, break away from home or not.
If any of this rings true with you then I'd urge you to give it a go. Why don't you unplug for just one day over the bank holiday. I promise you, you'll be glad you did and your pocket will feel a whole lot lighter in the process.
Have a lovely bank holiday whatever your plans.