Breaking Up with My Phone: Day 22

Day 22 is all about a recap on the 24-hour shutdown.

The book provides a series of open-ended questions, but if I feel that they don’t answer my full experience, I will add other details I found important after. Price calls these questions the “See/Think/Feel/Wonder” questions.

What did you observe about yourself and your behavior and emotions during your twenty-four-hour Trial Separation? (That is, what did you see?)

I saw an individual that was truly looking at the world. What I mean by that is I could focus on anything in the world, and not look at this crutch (my phone) that I’m used to darting my eyes towards. If I wanted to read a book for two hours straight, I could. If I wanted to paint my room, I could and not feel like I had to run to check something.

My emotions were positive. For the first time in quite a while, I felt a sense of boredom. Most adults in this world know that we don’t get a lot of opportunities to be bored when we are running around like crazy, trying to accomplish everything we can. I felt bored for a moment, and it felt like I was breathing normally.

I’m so used to running around physically (at work) and mentally (online business) that I forget to take a breath. My phone helps me forget to breathe, and honestly provided me with many headaches due to looking at it so much.

What do these observations make you think about? When you reflect back on the experience, what thoughts come into your mind?

My observations make me think about this end goal that I was always running towards: living a happy life. Everyone wants to be happy (and successful for some) and we think we have to take a thousand steps to get there. What was easy for me to forget is there are many different ways to live a happy life, and that it’s possible for me to be happy in each lifestyle that I’m living.

I realized you can feel at peace for a moment simply by going outside and taking a breath of fresh air. I live in Massachusetts (in the United States for my out-of-country friends) and one thing most of us can take for granted easily is the fresh air. We have a lot of trees, and our weather can be a little all over the place, but there is true beauty to this planet we live on, but we don’t stress that enough. Some of us would say our phone is more important than our planet, and that’s sad.

Now that you’ve made it through the Trial Separation, how do you feel about your phone itself, as well as your relationship with it?

As silly as it may sound, I would love to own a landline phone again, but I don’t know about all of the telemarketers. Cellphones should be used more as an emergency tool, and I think that was their initial intention. But researchers realized you can profit insanely off of this one device, and make it feel like it’s a necessity to our everyday lives.

I have moments where I feel repulsed by my phone. I think I feel that way because I realize I’ve been heavily dependent on it for so many years that I start to think about all of the other things I could have done with that time. Putting it away in a box was one of the best feelings.

I also feel mad at my phone and myself because of my phone. I think about all of the times I was with family and friends, and maybe I wasn’t giving them more attention than I could have. Then one day, that person is gone from this earth, and there’s no way to continue making physical memories with them. We would kill to have one more memory with that person, but we could have also made more time for them.

I want stronger relationships with people in my life, not my phone.

Now that you’ve completed the Trial Separation and begun to deeply observe your relationship with your phone, what do you wonder? What questions do you have? What do you want to know more about? What would you like to investigate further or look into more?

Okay, lots of questions at once here.

I wonder how I’m going to be with my phone after I finish this 30-day program. It could either change how I behave with my phone moving forward or it could be like some workout fad and I go back to my old ways. I wonder how committed I will stay to a better quality of life.

Am I capable? Am I strong enough? Will I make mistakes and slip-ups? Where would my life go if I had never tried this program out?

I’ve wanted to learn more about certain topics and learn how to do specific things better when I use my phone less. Our cell phones provide us with Google and unlimited answers to any question we can come up with. I want to learn how to do things without needing my phone. Actually learning how to do things on your own or with assistance from someone you know.

I don’t want to get rid of technology and banish it out of my life, but I also don’t want technology to complete run my life and tell me how I should feel.

What was the hardest part?

The hardest part for me was the initial moment after I turned my cell phone off and put it away. There were many people that I remembered I didn’t tell I was doing this, and worried they might try to contact me. I didn’t want people to get upset, thinking I was ignoring them when in reality, I was simply taking a phone break.

The irony behind all of it was the two people that I did tell about this experiment were the only two that contacted me the whole time my phone was off.

Once I stopped worrying about that and accepted what I wanted to do for myself, it became easier.

What was the best part?

I believe the best part was not having this need to check something every so often. There was an end to picking up the phone for a plethora of reasons that come up in our heads. Something that has become so automatic to us.

The best part was feeling like I could be myself again. There’s no more caring about how your own life looks towards others and jealously of what others are doing, but just doing what you want to do. If I post something now, I post whatever I want.

What surprised you?

I’m surprised by how one task like turning off your phone for a day can make such a positive impact on you as a person. I was getting a lot of things done that I used to say, “I don’t have enough time to do that. Why aren’t there more hours in a day?”

I think it’s also surprising to see that most of the things we think we are missing online, aren’t that important to begin with.

What did you learn from the experience that you can use once your official breakup is over?

I learned many things.

I learned to appreciate others more and make the best out of any experience. I learned about how much one can truly get done in a day if they sharpen their focus and attention. I learned that being alone and having alone time is perfectly normal and good to have. I learned that I need to start having separate devices for things like music and taking pictures so that our cell phones are mostly used for phone calls and text messages.

I learned that I love more effectively. I say that because there was a difference between showing my dog love and affection with and without my phone. Your pet has no choice but to give you their full attention (they don’t have a phone to go check), and when you give them that in return, it’s more fulfilling. Of course there will be times where you’re on your phone while petting them, but I notice the shift in behavior in my dog. He loves doing things with me, and I want to give him that same energy in return.

If you reached the end of this post, congratulations! I wanted to add quickly what I actually did the day my phone was off. It was a simple day since I didn’t end up spending my time with anyone. It was nice outside, so I went for a run and played with my dog Poe. I had a research paper to work on, so there was working on that here and there throughout the day. I did a lot of reading. I played a small amount of “The Sims 4” when I needed breaks from writing my paper. I also wrote a good amount of the new series I’m working on releasing. I don’t want to start releasing it until I have “a season’s worth.” That’s right, I’m going to treat this particular story like one would for a television series where you get a part of it each week, and then there will be some off time where I’m writing the next season.

It’s called “Retail Rebels” and it’s going to be fiction that is loosely based off of retail experiences that people I know and myself have gone through. Working in retail has its comedy to it like this story will have, but there are also lifelong bonds that can be created.

Stay tuned for that! Also, it will be a paid story because as much as I love to write, I also need to make a living off of it.

Comment below your thoughts on anything said in this post. I’m also curious if there is a certain word count/length that you, the reader, like to read within one blog post. Right now, I’m ranging between 900-1900 words a post, but I know some people like to read short pieces and others like novels. I’m open to any thoughts!

If you would like to buy “How To Break Up With Your Phone” by Catherine Price and have your own copy of the program, you can buy that here or by clicking on the picture. Right now, it is less than $6 which is a great price!

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