Last month I had the opportunity to experience what I’m calling phone deprivation—a period of time spent without using my phone. (Have your hands started to shake at the mere thought?)
Yep, ten whole days without a single glance at email, texts, apps, or alerts of any kind. (What about now? Any nervous twitches? Heart palpitations?)
Truthfully, I’d known in advance about this break, had planned for it—supplying family with an alternate avenue of communication and scheduling blog/social media posts ahead of time—and was actually looking forward to it.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some things about our digital world that I do enjoy. For one, the ease of staying in touch with family and friends. For another, the convenience of connecting with readers and other writers from all across the globe.
But sometimes the constant distraction of the rings, tones, and notifications is just that. Distracting. If we let them, all of our available screens can steal our focus away from other important things. Real things. Like the people we encounter on a daily basis. Or progress on our goals, rare opportunities, and just experiencing life.
That ten-day timeout reminded me how much I miss uninterrupted interaction and meaningful conversation and looking into other people’s eyes. It reminded me that I need to pay attention to my own screen time habits and that I have the power to limit them. I have the power to set (and stick to) office hours, to embrace the benefits of social media without sacrificing my sanity, and to take daily and intentional screen breaks to breathe, listen, and wholeheartedly notice the world around me.
What about you . . . do you already take or have you ever considered taking routine breaks from your phone?