I’ve been experimenting with phone detoxing over weekends in the past few months. While my normal approach has been to play hide-and-seek with the phone by putting it in some obscure place and forgetting about it, I decided to do a complete switch off this weekend. My 3 lessons from switching the phone off for a 60 hour period –
1. I missed 3 use cases – i) Waze/maps when we were driving, ii) Ability to call contact other when we split ways at a crowded area, and iii) Whatsapp to send the occasional message to framily.
2. I did not miss the following – i) Checking if there’s any new email or message because the phone is close by and ii) Reading articles on my phone – I prefer a larger screen but the phone is really convenient.
Overall, I can’t say I missed the phone all that much. I did cheat a bit by sending some messages from my wife’s phone too coordinate with friends – but, it was minimal. I enjoyed doing all my writing and reading from a larger screen – it was more targeted and intentional than reflexively picking up my phone.
3. I’ve been disconnecting from work email for a full 48 hours between Friday evening – Sunday evening for a few months now. And, while that has enabled me to be better engaged through the weekend, there was something wonderfully liberating about switching off completely. We normally associate detoxing with the body. But, there’s something to be said for detoxing for the mind.
I look forward to doing this more.