Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Offline - On Purpose & By Accident

We went away for a quick family holiday mid-November. Since we left the country, I turned my phone roaming off and didn't use it for about 5 days. I was disappointed with myself that it felt 'weird' to not be checking my emails, texts, facebook, instagram, etc. Shouldn't it feel normal to not check your phone and be online?!

I have mentioned a few times that I feel it's good to unplug, to live the life in front of us. I make a conscious effort to be present and with my daughter while she's awake. I do admit though, sometimes I fall down the rabbit hole and am checking statuses, likes, updates, etc. Sometimes it's work related, sometimes it's personal, sometimes it's just out of habit.

Being away for a mere 5 days brought forth this revelation and realization as to how much time I must actually spend (waste) on-line/plugged-in. I was reminded of an image I saw recently:

This also made me think about habits. Often we're trying to start new habits or break old ones; often it's a choice. I felt like this was a habit change that was forced on me, for a positive reason. Once we returned home and I had my phone again, I tried to be on it less. I blogged less, I checked emails less, I posted on instagram less. Then I accidentally killed my phone (water damage beyond repair), so I was without a phone for another few days (while I tried to revive it). So here again, the world was showing me how much time I spend on my phone.

I now have a new, fully functioning phone, but I still want to live my real life, not my on-line one. I may not become internet famous, I may not have the most followers, but that's okay, I don't think I'd be a good celebrity anyway. I've also read accounts from people that became obsessed with social media, people that spend hours staging a photo to look like they just snapped it in a few seconds, and I know many successful/happy people that don't even attempt to keep up with the social media trends. This falls into my love of mindfulness (consciously using my phone less, consciously being present), minimalism (less use) and moderation (less use).

I still have a long way to go to be the best version of myself, but I do believe that unplugging more often is part of it. I am competitive, I expect a lot from myself, and I am a perfectionist, so I struggle to not compare myself to others online, even though it's just an image of their life, left open to my interpretation. Take this as you will, but the life I live beyond this screen is a pretty great one, whether you think that or not :)

I hope you find time to be with family and friends as the year draws to a close.
Steph Langdon, RD