Why don't we do this more often? There could be a number of reasons holding us back. From waiting for an instant message or reply, to checking in on friends far away virtually, or nabbing the latest sale....I could go on. The worst one is boredom or killing time doing 'research'. I couldn't tell you how many hours I have spent researching the best sales, deals, flights, gifts, or social media images (ummm I admit it took me over a half an hour to do up that pretty little image up top). In the end it makes us feel drained, unsatisfied and more disconnected than before we started.
Now imagine if we put that energy into something else like playing with the kids or pets, a face to face lunch or even a quick road trip sans phone *gasp*! What? Leave on a road trip without your phone? But what if our car breaks down or we have an emergency? Well generations before us survived these events without much inconvenience, or at the least it makes for a great story. Why not give it a try? Besides the worst case these days is you flag down someone else to borrow their phone and simply explain you were taking a technology vacation.
If taking a road trip without your phone sounds a bit risky to start with then here are a few other ideas to try taking a break and untethering yourself even more from your smart phone;
- Plan a weekly family tech free date. Play board games, go for a walk, whatever you enjoy doing as a family.
- Leave your phone behind on your lunch break and take a walk.
- Use do not disturb and put your phone away after the kids are asleep, I promise there are still plenty of things to do around the house.
Some of you may never intentionally leave the house without your phone but that's ok. Scientists are researching cell phone addictions, 'FOMO' (fear of missing out), and anxiety to better understand our relationships with cell phones in this day and age. There is even a label now for the fear of leaving your phone at home called 'nomophobia'. You can read some new research here at Scientific America.
Whatever your relationship with your phone is, it is important to keep up face time (no not the apple video chat app). I mean keep trying to untether and unplug from your devices as much as possible to stay connected to the people and things going on around you. Smile at a stranger on a walk. Listen to the sounds of nature. Have meaningful conversations with the people around you uninterrupted by phone alerts.
Keep your faces up, not buried in a screen, and you may be surprised at what you discover.
read the first post here on untethering