This week i’m taking up the challenge of disconnecting from my mobile, for a while at least. Who’s up for joining me?
In a world where we’re more connected than we’ve ever been, how is it that our human connections are becoming increasingly less meaningful and distracted?
What was that? My point exactly.
I say this after guffawing at such stories as the Korean tourist who was so engrossed on her mobile in St. Kilda that she walked off the end of the pier. Luckily she survived after floating around for a while waiting for help, but was rumoured to have blurted out “Just let me finish this Instagram post” before she was hauled out of the cold water. Really.
Or being disturbed at seeing an entire family of six sitting in a restaurant in Brisbane, all captivated by their devices. None of them speaking, all gazing at the flickering screens in front of them as if it were ‘the precious’ and they each were Gollum. A sadly all too common scene you’ve no doubt seen on your travels recently too.
Given the still relatively new invention of the smartphone (circa 2007) and it’s psychological damage still being unravelled, I’ve taken a good look at myself recently and my mobile habits which I’m ashamed to say aren’t much healthier than the above examples.
I admit it. I look at my phone endlessly. I walk down the street looking at my phone (thankfully I haven’t fallen off a pier yet), I look at it sitting at the traffic lights in my car, I often even look at it at the supermarket check-out or in cabs. And let’s not even start to talk about my mobile behaviour at home. Talk about rude. How about you?
Call it FOMO (fear of missing out), call it addiction, compulsion, call it whatever you like, but it’s a much reported issue in today’s society that’s only going to get more problematic for all of us if we don’t recognise it now and do something about it.
So I’m taking up the challenge in a bid to free myself from my beloved Iphone and its never-ending allure of something (anything) more interesting than what I’m doing in that particular moment. Which by default makes me totally boring to everyone else around me – especially my family.
Because let’s face it, your loved ones are the only people who will actually tell you you’re boring them. Imagine what everyone else in society thinks but doesn’t say? Hmm. Scary.
But don’t fret just yet, there is hope.
Here’s two uber simple tips to get us all started on the unfettered road to periodic techno disconnection and re-connection with the real world and especially those we love most.
1) Turn off all your notifications right now
It sounds so simple doesn’t it? Just set all your notifications to off.
Aside from your text and phone do you really need to be notified constantly about mundane updates that aren’t really that important? Angry Birds may be a worthy game (for some), but having your phone ping seven times a day about the latest version they’re trying to sell you is really not a life changer.
Do it across all your devices and I guarantee you life will instantly become more meaningful and enjoyable.
2) Put your phone in one place at home – and keep it there
If like me you wander around your house with your phone in your hand or your pocket, stopping frequently to respond to a notification or just glance at the screen as if it’s about to tell you that you’ve won the lotto, then stop it.
Life is passing you by my friend and you’re turning into a robot. And whatever people may tell you about robots being cool, the truth is – robots are predictably boring.
Putting your phone in one, same place every time and disciplining yourself to only view the phone from that spot will start to help you break the habit, because it’s a pain to go and check it.
And in time you’ll start to check yourself too when you do feel the urge to go… “Do I really need to look?” Your inner voice will say…
“Nah. That’s boring”.
Have you got some tips to share on freeing yourself from your phone? Or mobile faux pas you’ve seen on your travels? Share them with us below.
Share this story