Good day, friends!
So, if you follow me on Instagram, you know I'm weird about it. Every few months I grow this ache inside me and feel the urge to just delete ALL social media and throw my phone into the ocean. I have yet to actually do that, but I'll proclaim that I'm leaving Instagram to experience the real world and then I come back a few weeks later, because I miss certain aspects of the virtual world, as well. The digital age is a weird one and it confuses me.
Anyways, instead of just proclaiming I was leaving Instagram, I was like, "HEY! What about going through a whole weekend with NO phone, AT ALL!" Very basic idea that I thought was genius. So, I texted my husband trying to pump him up about an electronic-free weekend and he replied with a, "Let's do it!"
So, Friday evening when he got home from work. We did it.
We turned our phones OFF.
When was the last time you even touched the power button on your phone? Turning my phone off felt so weird, which in turn, made me feel even more weird, like...WHY don't I EVER turn my phone off, ever?!
So, they were off and I hid them in a drawer that we don't really ever go by.
At this point, I thought we would feel strange and be itching to check everyone's updates. How can we go a whole weekend without knowing the latest news or new movement started or which long lost friend had a baby or got engaged? These are things we are always in-the-know about these days, so we must need to know them, right?
You guys, the opposite happened. I didn't feel strange at all. I felt more alive, more connected, more relaxed, more productive, more everything!
Saturday we had the most Instagram-worthy day and I didn't document ANY of it and it was divine! My family ventured into downtown Fort Worth and we went to this old, magical book store. We had never been to this bookstore, so we didn't know how to get there. This would have been an easy cop-out to bring our phones along for good ol' Google Maps. But you know what we did, we MapQuested it, on our home computer and wrote the directions on a little piece of paper and then we said, "We'll try our best and maybe find something cool if we take some wrong turns."
So, were there wrong turns taken?
Oh my gosh, you guys!! It was one of the most low-key, nice drives we've taken as a family in a while. We aren't actively on our phones in the car, but usually if we're leaving our little every day radius, I have Google Maps to help guide me to and from places. The thing I realized is, our actual brains are way more aware of directions, surroundings, and where the heck you need to go, if you actually have your brain on. I can guarantee you, if Google Maps was on, James and I would have bickered over a turn missed or a re-route or whatever! But our minds were open and on and we arrived to that bookstore on a breeze.
The bookstore looked like a uniquely shaped attic, with stacks of books and the smell of old paper in every crevice of the building. I was in heaven. My husband read a book about guitars almost the whole time, my kids were touching everything (which I had to tell them to stop about 107 times, but they were so excited, it made me excited), I found a classic Hemingway novel in the prettiest of blues. We roamed around with child-like wonder for over an hour in that shop. No distractions; just books, my family, and using all five senses in every moment.
After that, we headed out to find some lunch. James said, "Hey, let's stop here and see what's in the area." Buuuut, we didn't have our phones, so we had to old-fashionedly walk around just stumbling upon restaurants to see what sounded good. Again, it was magical. We ended up at the cutest, locally owned cafe. We had the best sandwiches of our life, on a patio, with the breeze blowing through our hair, the ding of the trolley passing by, and the perfect shade cast from the historic buildings surrounding us.
After that, we walked around, in no hurry and with nowhere to go or be.
Saturday night we made dinner as a family and watched a family movie.
My whole Saturday felt like a long, relieved sigh of pure contentment.
Sunday was spent sleeping in, making breakfast together, and working on house projects.
Again, I cannot remember the last time I felt SO rested and SO productive all in the same weekend. Doesn't it usually feel like one or the other? Almost like you have to choose, but apparently, you don't. You just need to free yourself from useless distractions ie. the cellphone.
Sunday night we waited until we had to set our alarms for Monday morning to even turn our phones on. We were buzzing off of a fully, in-the-moment life high and I certainly wasn't ready for it to end.
The biggest take away from 48 hours with no cell phone was the amount of TIME and ENERGY we use on those things. When I say that you probably automatically think about social media and that's a huge part of it, but ya know what else is a huge part; the texting and the constant awareness of time!
So, texting; we all feel OK texting all the time, because we're actually "communicating" with some one, but really, that texting is pulling you out of the moment that is right in front of your face and those moments are the most important ones. Even if it's a loved one. So, your loved one in the text is getting half of you, because you are not physically there and your loved ones with you are getting half of you, because you aren't mentally there. Do we really want to give half of ourselves all the time? To everybody?
I want to give 100% to people I am with.
So, time; having your phone makes you SO aware of what time it is at all moments of the day. Walking around Fort Worth, we had NO idea what time it was and I can't even explain the kind of ease that brings you. Why on God's green Earth should we know what time it is at every waking moment?? It cuts long conversations short, it speeds up lovely strolls, and it deafens hearing ears. Who cares if the morning rolls into the afternoon, which rolls into the evening on a Saturday? ENJOY your moments without giving them time restrictions or filling them with guilt.
My last little realization is that "mindlessly" scrolling your feed takes actual energy. We act like it's a relaxing tool or a way to zone out, but what I found out is it actually takes a lot of brain power to keep up with all of that. Do you ever scroll through your social media and NOT have ideas, inspiration, or comparisons? Not likely. Your brain is TURNING, when you are scrolling. And for me, I have LOTS of things I want to use my brain power for and social media and a cell phone are not even close to my list of things I want to invest my time and energy into.
So, friends, this is my challenge to you: GO 48 HOURS WITH NO CELLPHONE. Free yourself. Free yourself of time restraints, of "luxury" crutches (GoogleMaps, Whats In My Area, etc), of constant inundation. Shut it off.
You really do deserve 48 hours of pure life. Please give yourself that.
I think you'll find it is way more natural, fun, easy, and any other good adjectives, to actually be invested in the world around you, rather than the pocket world in your phone.
Let me know if you do this!! I want to hear if you had any epiphanies, if it was super challenging, if it changed your life, etc.
Here's to the real world, friends! Always sending you love and light!!