It is crazy how connected we are with our technology. Stupid crazy. It is becoming rarer to see faces when you’re in public. It’s mostly just foreheads that are facing a little screen in the person’s hand. To be completely honest, I spend way too much time on my phone.
I was listening to an Art of Manliness podcast while working last week and it was about living a 24/6 lifestyle as opposed to the 24/7. Taking a Sabbath. A day dedicated to being different, restful and disconnected. The podcast was with author Aaron Edelheit and talking about his book The Hard Break. A case for the 24/6 lifestyle.
The key thought that resonated with me was the fact that we are essentially on call any time we have our phones on. Social media contacts, actual phone calls, text messages. Almost anyone can get a hold of us at any time. That’s nuts.
I was reminded of some Jack-wang on Instagram who decided to use a new feature on Instagram that I wasn’t even aware of at the time; the calling feature. Literally, anyone who followed me, or even just looked me up, could call me via the platform. Thanks a lot, Instagram. 3 am my phone starts ringing and of course I thought, “oh man, what happened and to whom?” NOPE. Nothing important. Just some ignorant Jack-wang who took no consideration for what timezone I was in (he was from Germany) and figured he was entitled to my time in the middle of the night for a conversation that was most likely some elementary questions about getting into knife making. Stuff that Google could answer for him in less time that it would take for him to ask me. The part that made me so mad was that he could do that.
Last Sunday I decided to leave my phone powered off all day long. I turned the power button off Saturday evening before getting into bed and oddly enough the phone turned itself on in the middle of the night. I can only imagine the terror that big tech companies feel with the idea of people not having their phones on and in arms reach 24/7. A scary thought for them. Scarier for you and me.
It was an amazing experience. I read a book, made a bunch of food, did a little sewing project, went for a bike ride with my boys, and took a bunch of pictures on my trusty Fuji X100. It was such a peaceful and restful day. It felt like something I hadn’t experienced in months. Because I hadn’t. Even though I’d taken a bunch of photos with my digital, I did not allow myself to look at them or edit them on Sunday. It would be too easy to notice a notification and quickly have a look at it. I was going for a complete disconnect.
I reluctantly turned my phone on a few hours into my Monday morning out of duty. I am for social media and sharing. But it has gotten out of control. It has slowly become this all-consuming monster of our time and it’s been such a subtle shift that we haven’t really even noticed it. It wasn’t until I went for a whole 24 hours *gasp* without my phone that I saw just how much control it had on my time.
My new weekly tradition is a digital sabbath. 100%. No phone, no computer. I’m stoked. And my family is too. I would highly recommend trying a digital disconnect just for one day. See what you think of it. Here are some picures from Sunday. Cinco de Mayo 2019.