I have willingly embarked on a journey of 48 hours without my precious phone. There will be no phantom vibrations, no gentle “pings” or notifications, and certainly no closing and reopening of apps. While I am ecstatic about what I might learn about myself, I am equally terrified my lack of discipline will have me pleading for my fingers to, once again, touch that screen.
I long for more time to read, cook, dance etc. I crave more time to focus on pursuing a new hobby yet I find myself every week having achieved nothing new. I never find the time for anything productive. Perhaps this weekend with no phone could provide me with time for these other activities
I have read about the dangers of spending copious amounts of personal time on social media. Wasting my youth and comparing myself to strangers on the internet is quite a foolish way to be remembered. Just because the substance is legal does not make it less than an addiction. Just as caffeine has done to my brain, social media has done to my fingers.
My anxiety has skyrocketed and my fingers feel the need to grip onto something. I feel phantom vibrations, knowing all too well that my phone is nowhere near me. I am not one to shy away from a challenge. However, I find myself drained, under stimulated, and disconnected.
How could so much emotion have burst from such a tiny device? Is my addiction worse than I thought? Can I really not stand to be apart from a device that keeps me connected to the world?
I forced myself to go outside and breathe in some fresh air. While I felt relaxed in the moment, the anxiety is starting to come back tenfold. I am not enjoying this process and hope it ends soon for the sake of my sanity.
I have gone from utterly restless to simply uneasy. The nausea has passed and my anxiety has diminished. The initial panic of zero connection has subsided and I am looking forward to the next few hours.
I am taking this new found time to do something productive. I have taken it upon myself to learn how to cook a pasta dish and maybe go for a walk. While I find joy in cooking and walking, I often do not carve out time to do either. This makes me wonder how much I would be able to achieve if I spend minimal time on social media.
While I am excited about what the future holds I still feel the need to share what I observe with my friends. This longing to share my day with the outside world still has a looming presence, but I am not drawn toward it. This observation provides peace for me. Being mindful of what I give my energy to helps me reduce anxiety
As of now, I feel so refreshed. The incessant need to check my phone has vanished. I slept better and longer than I have in a very long time. I feel less stressed and my anxiety has gone down. The need to check my phone has lessened, and I feel better for it. I love not worrying about who is commenting on my picture or who is viewing my story. My thumbs ache a little less, probably from the lack of typing and scrolling for hours on end. This has been a great experience so far, and I want to see what happens further.
My inner fire has been ignited. I feel encouraged to convince my peers to experience the same bliss I now have. Shouting from the rooftops is the only outlet I see fit. I feel incredible! If my peers find the same inspiration from a simple lifestyle change, imagine the possibilities.
Although a small feat, I am proud I mustered enough courage to challenge my addictive behavior. Being more mindful of my actions is the key to a better lifestyle. So many of us can admit that we spend time on social media and lose the opportunity to do more fulfilling activities.
While cutting out social media completely is not in my near future I do plan on reducing the amount of time spent.
How much of what I do on a daily basis is simply muscle memory? As I recall my daily tasks and habits, I notice that although I have changed my lifestyle tremendously over the past few years, my actions towards social media have not. There is no need to mindlessly waste time on tasks that do not serve me anymore. Being mindful of my daily actions can help me carve out time for new experiences and more opportunities. Being able to resist temptation of my phone has enabled me to reduce my anxiety as well, something I struggled with for a long time. This weekend I spent time going outside, cooking, and using my time productively. I hope to become more in tune with myself as I practice this again.
Featured Image via Paul Hanaoka