Working in the I.T. industry it is inevitable that I would be using my phone, computer and even tablet at work, but that is not what you probably want to know. What you may be thinking is why I am even undertaking this exercise, this life without technology: Am I coping well? Will it help or hinder me?
Right this second, I still don't know.
I mentioned in my last blog that cutting technology would be unsettling. That was most definitely an understatement as the first two days were an absolute disaster. I couldn't find it in myself to let it go! I would be watching TV and be on my phone, scrolling through the usual mainstream drivel and playing video games on my tablet. Flatmates would try and talk to me and eventually ask if I was even listening. It wasn't until that moment that I recognised the importance of this experiment.
The next night I had my flatmate hide everything and let it be. I felt extremely anxious, thinking that I needed to check up on emails, look at what's happening on Facebook and make sure that I felt included in what was actually happening in the digital world! I decided to distract myself, spend some time with my flatmates at the Botanical Gardens and after about 20 minutes I had completely forgotten about that need for screen time. It was like I had traveled back to my high school days of waiting for the landline (do houses still even have those?)
I was able to give 100% of my attention to the moment I was in, embrace the time I was spending with flatmates and actually relax: the distraction was bliss!
I read somewhere that screen time can also increase the risk of insomnia and I can now see that as, when it came to turning in for the night, I felt I had nothing to do except sleep. I wasn't exactly tired so thought I'd give reading a go. 10-15 minutes later I fell asleep with my book on my chest, most likely with loud snoring to supplement and I woke 9 hours later instead of the usual 6.
Week one didn't turn out to be as bad as I thought, so I am excited to see how week two goes. Watch this space.
Being without a phone can be an incapacitating feeling, possibly worse than leaving a wallet at home. Many adults can remember an analog era of living without a mobile phone. But for young digital natives, taking a break from the phone, where they live and socialize, can induce all kinds of emotions.