On being a time being

Life

Funny thing about time: sometimes when I observe it I see a mere a social construct. But lately I’ve been noticing that It really is a thing that exists.

I think this is the biggest takeaway I have learned on this 30 day phone fast, which is over as of today.

I’m  proud of myself for for sticking with this for 30 days. I feel good. I can actually leave my house without my phone and not have a panic attack. That feeling of freedom is amazing. Last weekend I turned off technology for 24 hours and actually went for a hike with my pinhole cameras two days in a row without my phone. I actually left it in my house and drove 30 miles away from it. And I didn’t spontaneously combust. I will admit to a moment of panic when I was separated from my husband and realized I had no way to contact him – I couldn’t text him. That was an interesting moment. We found each other and it all worked out, BTW. And I used The Force for my pinhole camera exposures.

I have loved having extra time in my day.  I’m not sure if I was especially productive with that time, but I did do a lot of reading, as well as some other creative things. I meditated more. I went for walks. I did some decluttering of my home. I listened to music.

Being away from my phone has allowed me to appreciate it. That moment when I was separated from my husband last weekend magnified my appreciation. I love being able to text when I need to (I also love being able to disconnect myself from texting when I need to). I missed the connection over photography I had with Instagram. I was visiting IG on my internet browser but the web version of IG lacks many of the features of the phone version. It was like standing on the other side of a glass wall and watching my friends without being able to interact.

I feel like I will need to be very diligent about my phone stealing my time away again. I have realized that my time is a precious jewel and I want to guard it. I think the key is to use my phone in a mindful way.

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On Breaking Up With My Phone

Life

On a whim I picked up the book “How To Break Up With Your Phone.” It was on the new book shelf at the library and I thought I’d thumb through it just for laughs. It turns out, the book is really good.  As I read through the first half of the book I slowly realized that I am, indeed, addicted to my phone (as most everyone probably is these days). I decided I’d give the author’s 30 day plan to “break up with your phone” a try. Let’s just call it an experiment. To see what happens. To see how it affects my mental state and general mood.

I am on day 8 today and I already feel like a new person.

About 3 days in she instructs her readers to delete all social media from the phone. Don’t even think twice, just delete.

You know how when you pull a band-aid off and you know it’s best to just yank it off as fast as you can and it stings badly for a few moments but then it’s all fine? That’s how it felt the first day I deleted everything. I felt this moment of panic and then a sense of emptiness and then I realized that I would be OK. Deleting social media from my phone didn’t kill me.

She doesn’t say to, necessarily, delete social media from your life. Just delete it from you phone. So I’ve been checking in on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter a couple of times a day from my PC.

I also downloaded an app that monitors how much time I spend on my phone and can figure out how many minutes/hours I’ve spent on specific apps. The app is called Moment for those interested. The day I installed the app it stated I had spent 4 hours on my phone that day! And that was just from “momentarily” checking social media to fill in the empty spaces during the day. Four hours!

So now I have a 4 hour void to fill every day. It’s kind of nice! To start, I’ve been catching up on things I’ve neglected, like editing photos, and blogging. I actually read for an hour everyday last week. I organized my closet and books yesterday.

But I think the best thing so far is that I feel so much better mentally! As the book states, when we scroll through our endless feeds we experience a plethora of emotions as we see posts from different people. As a one of those Highly Sensitive types, this was making me insane. Today I feel less insane.