Mobile-free Monday

Friday 17th April 2015

I often find myself compulsively checking my phone. I know it's not healthy, so I thought I'd try turning it off for 24 hours to see if I could cope.

Some days I might check Facebook twenty times, like a nervous tic, to see if friends have posted anything exciting or liked my stuff. And I know it's not just me, some friends are constantly on their phones while we're out together or even just sitting about chatting, which seems pretty rude but I know I do it too!

So I turned my phone off before I went to bed on Sunday night, and didn't turn in back on again until Tuesday morning. Here's the diary of that day.

Monday

5:00 am Woke up to find the dog on the bed, taking up more than his fair share of the space again. Couldn't get back to sleep, and normally I'd put my headphones on and listen to a podcast on my phone. Lay there for a while cursing this experiment then fell asleep.

9:00 am Got up and instinctively reached for my phone to listen to some music while I had a wash. Washed in silence instead, which was eerie.

9:30 am Had to ask Kat to check my calendar on her phone because I'd totally forgotten what we were doing. Started making notes on how my mobile-free Monday was going, and I had to learn to write with a pen again. My handwriting was even worse than I remembered.

11:00am Went out for a walk with friends who were all on time, luckily. Kept reflexively checking my pocket to make sure my phone was there, and my heart skipped a beat when it wasn't. Every half hour or so I wished I'd brought a camera with me to capture this beautiful walk, but then relaxed into it and just enjoyed the view.

2:30pm Tried and failed to do mental arithmetic (if 217g is 12% of the total weight, what is the remaining 88%?) and ended up using the calculator on Kat's phone. Is that cheating? All afternoon I had a vague sense that I was missing out on lots of exciting Facebook posts or messages from people inviting me to wild parties.

8:00pm By the evening, not having a mobile felt natural and really rather pleasant. Started reading a book and became totally engrossed in it.

10:30pm Decided that I might do this every Monday.

 

Tuesday

I turned my phone back on in the morning, and one solitary text message was waiting for me. Nothing exciting happened, I didn't miss out on any parties and the world didn't stop revolving.

I finished the book at lunchtime and started another one.

 

The next Monday

I thought I'd do it again the next Monday, just to see what happened, and I didn't miss the phone at all. The only problem was trying to arrange a date with friends, because I didn't have access to my calendar and I had no idea what's in it. My handwriting was just as bad as last week.

 

I'm not sure I'm going to do this every Monday, but it's given me a new perspective and made me think before I reflexively reach for the phone to entertain me in every moment of downtime.

Have you ever tried a mobile-free day?

 

Comments

Recent posts

Five things I'm going to miss about Cornwall

Five things I'm going to miss about Cornwall

In ten days we're leaving the UK for new adventures in Spain...

Read more

Owning less stuff

Owning less stuff

We're off to Spain for new adventures in a couple of weeks, and we've spent the last three months sorting our possessions into the four S's: ship, store, sell or skip...

Read more

What's this about?

Hi I'm Mat and I'm addicted to new hobbies. I used to think this was a bad thing but now I'm embracing it.

Writing them all up in this blog encourages me to finish projects, and helps me keep track of which ones I've tried.

Also in Experiments...

Choice

Choice

It's always fascinated me that most people take as long to buy a pair of jeans as a house...



Also in Inside my brain...

Perfect muesli

Perfect muesli

My life can be broadly categorised into four phases by the kind of cereal that I have for breakfast, like the classic Ages of Man from Greek mythology: The Coco Pops age (4-14) This was the golden age, where the most important thing in my life was opening the next box of Coco Pops to find out which toy is in the packet...