As much as I would love, and have had the willpower, to have come up with completely switching off for a week – no phones, tv or maybe just social media, I have to admit that for the first week of 2018 I was forced to go phone free (argh!). My obsession of constantly being on my phone, I always use the defence that it’s also my job. Working within PR I need to be constantly tuned in and on the look out for new ideas, bloggers and opportunities.
Whether I’m indulging into the several social media apps, using WordPress for blogging, taking photos to support my posts and flicking from one dating disaster app to the other, most of the activity I do on my phone after hours is sometimes just out of pure boredom. I’ve always wanted to see what it would be like to give up my phone for a week and due to mine being stolen on NYE, I still think it’s karma for not spending five pounds on a clutch bag for said phone to go in, I got that very wish. Naturally, my first thoughts were to panic over the loss of photos, notes and probably the fact I’d only had that phone for about two months, but a few days in I felt more free and relaxed.
Throughout the week I had turned to my very old, and very beaten up looking iPad to carry out jobs I needed for work. I had access to social media for the working day, apart from Instagram (seriously how has this not evolved into an iPad version yet?), but when it came to home time I shut off. It definitely made me realise how much I use my phone and sometimes even caught myself going to grab what was no longer there. When I first got back into the office after the New Year, which I was dreading the whole time, my computer was also broken. I felt lost and even though I’d planned my work for the first few months of the year I generally had a sense of misplacement, as in my brain had gone into overdrive that it simply shut off.
The benefits of switching off, sort of, and enjoying literally anything else in your everyday life did allow me to read more than what I’ve resorted to in the last few weeks, I’ve seriously lacked, and of course turn to Netlix. Not really switching off but the constant interruptions of app notifications, boredom scrolling, or just being plain nosey, and even leaving work at work, was definitely a wake up call.
I would love to say that I’ve continued to be phone free but realistically it’s not ideal. After a few hours of receiving my new phone I was straight onto social media, oh how I’ve missed Instagram, to find out what I’ve missed. I have however, turned off all unnecessary notifications, you know the ones, deleted apps I just don’t use and try to not look at my phone too much in the working, and personal, day. To help me keep on track I’ve downloaded an app, how ironic, that helps you switch off by setting daily use limits.