When was the last time you took yourself truly “off the grid”?
This means: no computer, no internet, no phone. Just fresh air, big sky, and lovely space all around you?
Remember when phones used to be objects mounted on a wall of our house somewhere? When they didn’t constantly go everywhere that you do, like digital leashes?
I do. But for the 16-18 years (?) I have carried a mobile phone with me. It has become indispensable. I sometimes ask: What did people do before having cell phones? Where did they get their information before Google?
Sometimes it is good for us to allow our minds a little boredom, a break from the constant stimulation. This Wednesday, I am recommending you try that, for 12 hours or maybe 24 hours if you are really brave. Power it all off. If your work is dependent on being online, you may have to save this for a weekend.
Then: observe what happens to your thinking, your emotions, your conversations.
Phone addiction is a real thing. It works on a principle called intermittent reinforcement. You may not even realize how those little pings and dings affect you until you turn them all off.
But it can be cured. The answer is to go without, and to have regular breaks from all of that stimulation. In the same way most of us get a 11-12 hour fast each night after dinner and before breakfast, we can “fast” from technology. And it has distinct benefits for your concentration, energy and relationships.
I encourage you to give it a try. While I am on my break this week, I am trying it as well. Given that my favorite meditation app is on my phone, this is tricky. But I can always record my meditations in my trusty little notebook, pen and paper old-fashioned style, and then log the sessions later.
Please let me know if you try this and what you discover in the comments.