As I briefly mentioned in my Galway post, roughly a month ago myself and my boyfriend had a weekend away where we turned our wifi off and locked our phones away in a drawer. Although my boyfriend broke his side of the deal and had a sneaky look on facebook once or twice, I kept up my part and had no access to any internet or social media for the duration of the trip. Through my technology detox I experienced a number of different things and I thought I would share a few of them with you.
Not having a phone to look at throughout dinner during the evening meant that myself and my boyfriend actually had to speak to each other (I know, can you believe it!?). Okay that might sound a little dramatic but instead of filling any silences by aimlessly scrolling through my instagram feed, I filled it by asking questions, coming up with conversation and being there in the moment. With this I also looked around and noted the amount of couples sitting around me glued to their phones while they wait for their food to be brought out and this made me a little sad to realise that that is how we usually look. Maybe a no phone at meal time rule needs to be put in place.
What's the Time?!
Another I learned is that without my phone I literally have no idea what time it is. Through this I also realised that there is a serious lack of clocks in places like restaurants and bars. I know there is a simple solution to this and it is called a watch, but I did not think this through and pretty much spent my entire weekend wondering what time it was.
Notifications Make Me Anxious
Something I didn't realise before this weekend was that having my phone constantly beside me, buzzing every 10 minutes makes me feel like I am in a constant state of unease. It never really feels like I am completely alone and although some people may feel that this is a good thing I do not. Feeling the constant urge to look at a phone screen to see who liked my new instagram picture is damaging anyone's mental being, and I think realising this is the first step in changing it.
How It Feels To Be Relaxed
Through realising that my phone quite often makes me anxious, I learned what it really feels like to be relaxed. While I was away I felt a overwhelming feeling of relaxation and distance from reality for the few days we were there. As soon as I turned my wifi on again when I was back in Dublin I was receiving messages about college work that was due and my feeling of relaxation was suddenly a distant memory. This made me think that maybe turning my phone off for an hour or so every now and again might just do my mental health a great deal of good.
I Had To THINK
The epitome of first world problems eh? Basically whenever I needed to know something I actually had to think about it rather than reaching for my smart phone and letting google do the job for me.
Do you often switch off from technology? If so what have you learned from it?