From Monday to Friday this week I am going tech free. I KNOW.
I have no idea how I am coping without technology (it’s only day 1, but it might the the worst, I wonder if my hand will be twitching inadvertently at intervals towards my pocket, before realising there is no phone lurking there…).
I have had a little battle about the pros and cons of technology for a while. I do love it, the opportunities it brings and how it makes many aspects of life life easier and more convenient. Due to the amazingness of modern technology, although you have only just received this post, I actually wrote it last Friday and scheduled it in to land neatly in your inbox today.
But sometimes I really just want to be completely switched off from it, and exist in a time before or without emails, Facebook and mobile phones, when people couldn’t constantly contact you, and we didn’t have information overload 24/7.
Another reason for switching off the comms is that I just love my iphone a little bit too much. We have, after all, been together 5 years. And it goes absolutely everywhere with me and is almost always reliable. I reach for it without thinking, and check my Instagram, Whatsapp, Email, WordPress and Facebook Messenger on automatic. Sometimes there are updates, often there aren’t. But I check anyway, even when there are no little red dots telling me how many messages I have received. On my Instagram notifications are switched off, so every time I open the app it’s a little bit exciting, perhaps someone has liked a photo….
This I know, is not good.
Apparently, the reason for this need to constantly check our phones is that a new notification such as a ‘like’ on Instagram or a Retweet, triggers dopamine in our brains which causes ‘seeking behaviour’. And we are in a loop of constantly seeking, being rewarded too quickly, and seeking again straight away. Dopamine is also stimulated by unpredictability – all those emails and texts we receive that come at random times with as yet unknown information, are also leaving us wanting a little more every time they pop up.
Whether or not this is actually true, I definitely do spend far too much time looking at screens, big and small. At work there is not a whole lot that I can do about this, but I can use my phone less. Perhaps check only twice a day. I have started leaving my phone in a different room at night which stops any before sleep Insta checks, and checking my phone is no longer the first thing I do in the morning. And it turns out alarm clocks are just as good at waking you up. (Also Suri scares me, it’s likes she’s always listening, maybe she’s brain washing me in my sleep, who knows.)
I am also aware that all this tech free stuff is a bit rich from an online blogger … but maybe because I’m so tuned in, it’s even more important to have some time out from the bright lights of the online world and social media.
So I’m turning my comms off for 5 days and this will mean that:
- My phone will be switched off, and I will not be texting or Whatsapping you (I am looking forward to having a Whatsapp free week – guys I love you all, and every whatsapp group is just as important to me, but it will be nice to have a week without being informed that a hen party date has changed again).
- No emails (I am very excited about this one), I’m not a fan of the email, particularly of ones I never signed up for.
- I will not be Facebooking, Tweeting or Instagramming (my heart falls slightly at the thought of no Instagram – this will be the hardest, no filter altering or hash tagging for a whole week, although it’s also quite a relief).
- No looking at any screens, so no TV or general laptop / computer time. This I think will be ok, I shall read some books and write things down in a notebook.
Hopefully going cold turkey won’t be too hard, and I’m actually looking forward to a little break. I think your hardest part will be limiting the time I use my phone when I’m switched back on again.
I hope you are all having lovely weeks too, and see you on the weekend with an update!