Last Thursday night I checked Facebook one last time before deleting the app. I did the same with Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Netflix. I plugged in my phone in my kitchen and went to bed, ready to begin my tech detox the following morning.
I am not a morning person. The fact that I live with THREE (3!) morning people + 2 morning cats is a source of some annoyance. When my kids & cats start banging around at 6:00am, I usually try to go back to sleep for a few extra minutes. When that fails, I further delay getting up by scrolling my phone, justifying it that the blue light will help me wake up…or something like that. Long story short: it takes me a loooong time to get out of bed and then I’m rushed, which just makes me feel worse.
So perhaps it was naive of me to expect that I would bound out of bed during my tech detox. Even absent my phone, getting up is difficult. Surprise!
And once I did make it out of bed, it felt odd not to be scrolling the news while eating breakfast, or listening to a podcast while I cleaned the kitchen and made lunches, but over the course of a few days, I have gotten used to it. We do subscribe to the Sunday paper, and I have a few free magazines that I can read during breakfast at least.
Another thing I expected during my first week of detox was to be full of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) but the funny thing was that once I wasn’t checking Facebook and Twitter, I forgot all about it. Without the pesky notifications constantly popping up to tell me that so-and-so was going to an event near me or that you-know-who had added to their story, I actually felt calmer and more present. I had underestimated how annoying it is to be constantly interrupted. Once I figured that out, I began keeping my phone mostly on silent so that I could designate a few times a day to check email, messages, and texts, rather than stopping what I was doing to respond right away.
The other major change I made this week was to download Pocket, an app that saves articles and web pages so that you can read them later. Using Pocket, I can save an article that looks interesting and not worry about losing it if I don’t read it right away. Plus, it makes me pause and think “do I really want to read this later?” I have been reading far fewer articles like “10 Pizzas that Look Like Faces!” while still being able to catch up on interesting news and relevant professional articles, plus I’m able to share articles from Pocket with my anti-Facebook husband via text or email.
The main take away from this week is to do phone tasks, like reading the news or texting someone, during intentional blocks of time. I feel like I’m spending my time more purposefully and feeling time aimlessly distracted.
My main fail this week has been TV and podcasts. During the past few days I have exceeded my “one podcast per day” rule, mostly to listen to work-related podcasts. And, after a stressful Monday, I allowed myself to watch the finale of Masterpiece Theater’s Victoria. (Prince Albert is a hunk, don’t judge!)
To counteract this, I want to try and focus next week on spending more time in solitude and planning my free time to be more active/constructive.
Until next week!