I’ve just got back from a few days off the grid.
Sometimes I find it useful to disconnect and go away. My phone stays on airplane mode, and I don’t check my email, WhatsApp, or FB Messenger. Unless I’m listening to music or taking photos – my phone is rarely on me. (I don’t feel compelled to share every moment of my life on social media, so I don’t find this hard to do. My sister would find this impossible! You spend five minutes with her and later find 50 images of you on Instagram and Facebook – I don’t even know how she does it ?).
The last few months have been pretty insane on lots of counts. I was pretty stressed and hadn’t been sleeping well for a long time. I find everything harder to deal with when I’m massively tired.
I love going away in this country. When the sun is out, the UK is stunningly beautiful.
The weather hasn’t been good lately though, and I was keen to go somewhere warm. Anywhere near the ocean where I can live in Havaianas and very little else is cool with me. (Palm trees are a plus. I love palm trees ?).
I also find that unless I’m spending time with other people, or hiking in the middle of nowhere, I rarely manage to switch off in the same way as when I go abroad.
It was good to hang out with Andrew. I slept for as long as possible each day. Got up late. Read. Swam. Enjoyed the scenery, and chilled out.
It doesn’t happen often.
I used to be good at not looking at my phone or checking email after work, and doing the same on the weekend too. My phone would be in another room and I would barely look at it.
Recently though, I’ve found that my phone is increasingly nearby. Mainly to control our Sonos system, and because I tend to use the camera on my phone as my go-to camera, (I love iPhone 7s portrait mode).
(I’ve started putting my phone on airplane mode instead. But, for Sonos, I still have to keep wi-fi on my phone, which lets in all of the IMs. I’ve finally changed my notification settings, so hopefully this will make a difference. I’m also using my laptop to control Sonos instead, but then having that open leads to more distraction…. It will be easier when Alexa and Sonos are finally integrated! I also use Evernote on my phone for note taking. I can hardly read my writing sometimes, and it saves having to type up notes later. I do find phones and tablets distracting in board rooms though. Even if people aren’t replying to emails and just taking notes, there is something about people typing away on electronic devices in the middle of conversations that tends to detract from whatever’s being discussed. Undoubtedly it’s the way that things are going though.)
I find that my mind is a lot less distracted when I’m not connected. I have space to read, think, and focus on the people around me. When I’m on my own and have my phone on me I’m often resisting the urge to check email, IMs, Twitter, YouTube and the internet.
Technology is great, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in it. It can cause you to miss out on a lot of what goes on around you sometimes.