My iPhone relationship
Last week my iphone died.
All of a sudden I was unplugged.
Well, not really, because that would be unthinkable (!) In case of an emergency, (like the kids’ school and nursery needing to contact me) I got myself a cheap loan phone.
It took me back to the early days of having a phone, you know, when it was just a device to speak on, not a mini-computer in your pocket.
The texting function was clunky and I couldn’t write more than a few words before I pressed send in frustration.
On my iphone there were seven ways to contact me: What’s app, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter plus the usual email, text and good old fashioned voice calls.
I’d developed bad habits; checking my phone late at night, scrolling through emails in the morning while cuddling a small boy, constantly picking up the phone while cooking dinner and being distracted by it when watching films
Often when I went downstairs to get the kids their bedtime drinks, I’d open up one of those communication channels, lose five minutes, and only be pulled out of my screen dream-time by hearing their drink demands bellowed down the stairway.
Yep, to all of that.
Is it any wonder that after 24 hours I felt strangely liberated by the lack of words and energy flooding towards me?
I’d find myself picking up the clunky loan phone but realising that there was nothing to be lost in, nothing to give me a short break, nothing to give me that communication hit, I’d put it down again.
Instead we played more board games and completed an egg-box crocodile.
I finished a beautifully written novel by Kate Tempest and saved at least an hour (or three?) a day. I was able to watch a whole film without looking at my phone.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the week was hard for other reasons such as being cooped up on snow days, a fall down the stairs (I’m fine), finding my own novel writing process tough, as well the usual demands of being-a-parent-to-small-children.
But I did realise that I didn’t need my emails stored on my phone; that actually I could simply log on via my laptop once or twice a day to check them. That out of the fifty or so emails that arrived, I actually only wanted to read about five of them.
And none of them were urgent.
For urgent stuff, people will call or text.
The same with all social media, there was nothing that I couldn’t live without.
Or that simply couldn’t wait.
So, that’s it then, I’m totally sorted and detoxed from it all, ready to live my screen free life.
On Tuesday, the replacement iphone was delivered, the bright back-up restored and those seven channels of communication were reopened.
Old habits die hard.
Within 24 hours I was back on the communication dance floor.
Yet, while reflecting on this experience and writing this post, I’ve picked up my phone, deleted all social media apps and my email account on this device.
Thanks for being part of that decision making process.
I’ve kept What’s App (I missed the group family chat) and am glad to have access to Facetime, my podcasts (The Archers!) and of course Itunes for spontaneous dancing breaks.
I’m aware of the irony that now I might be one of the hundred emails you get today.
I’m aware that underneath the habit of checking and getting a screen hit is a deeper longing.
A longing for connection, for meaning and to know that we matter.
As humans we are hard wired to want these, and sometimes we find them through these seven communication channels and sometimes we don’t.
I wonder, where do you find yours?
Thank you for giving me some of your precious time.
Because it is precious, and I value mine and I value yours.
I’m saying ‘no more’ to the usual launching, repeating, pushing marketing formulas that create overwhelm, stress, lack and negative vibes.
Instead I invite you to look at what I’m offering over the next few months, and if it resonates, please come aboard.
With love, connection and meaning, always.