Breaking Up with My Phone: Day 19

Day 19 is all about preparing for your trial separation.

In the last post, I warned you of the difficult task that is yet to come, and this weekend is when it’s going to take place: keeping your phone off for 24 hours straight.

Today is about preparing for the 24-hour shutdown. Here is what you should plan:

Identify What You’re Taking A Break From

We’ve been talking specifically about taking a break from our smartphones, but it’s recommended to not use any internet-enabled devices with screens, including tablets, smartwatches, laptops, and desktop computers. Voice-activated devices like Alexa, television, and movies are one’s own call.

For my personal experience, I have to alter things a little. I have to work on a research paper this weekend which means I need to use a computer. But the phone will remain off and I will stay off of social media. Research only.

Tell People What You’re Doing

Inform your parents, friends, roommates, bosses, and anyone else who’s likely to try to contact you for the next twenty-four hours. This will help you prepare and hold you accountable.

Get Others On Board

Ideally, everyone in your household should participate in the twenty-four-hour break. It can also be fun to recruit a friend to do it with you.

Make Plans

Schedule enjoyable things you can do (and people you can spend time with) during the time you usually spend on your phone. I listed what I did back on Day 6.

Use Hard-Copy Instructions

If you’re going to drive someplace new, print instructions or write down directions ahead of time. You will not be using navigation from your phone. Remember: You can always ask for directions.

Get A Pad Of Paper Or Notebook

Use it to make a “To-Phone” list of things that you want to do or look up when your Trial Separation is over. You might find out that by the time you turn your phone back on, you won’t have the need to look those things up.

Set An Automated Phone Greeting

If you feel it’s necessary, change your outgoing voicemail to explain what you’re doing.

Create A Physical Contact List

If you have a landline, write down the numbers of people you think you might want to call. There’s no restriction on phone calls made on landline phones, they represent live contact with people.

Use Call Forwarding

Speaking of landlines: it’s possible to have all calls from your smartphone forwarded to your landline. Instructions for how to do so vary by carrier, so do an internet search ahead of time.

Set An Out-Of-Office Response

If you’re stressed about not responding to emails, set up an email auto-responder (often called a “vacation reply”) that explains what you’re doing.

Set An Automated Text Message Response

If you’re worried about missing texts, set up a text message auto-responder. This means that any time someone texts you, they will receive an automatic response that says you’re not checking your texts (and, optional, that tells them a different way to get in touch with you). This can make it much easier to take breaks from your phone.

I will type up the trial separation post tomorrow morning to keep everyone informed, and then my phone will go off for 24 hours.

If you like the program, you should buy “How To Break Up With Your Phone” by Catherine Price and read the full book.

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