Earlier this year I smashed my phone screen, something that seems to happen to most of us at some point, especially if you work outdoors. It was a particularly hectic day; I was rushing and put the phone down on the quad bike for two minutes while I went to do something else. I returned to the quad and drove off, forgetting about the phone. I only realised when I saw it smashed on the floor. Whoops!
It was annoying, but no more than that at first. I carried on regardless for a while, even though it had clearly impacted the camera, which is probably the main reason I bought this particular phone in the first place. Images were slightly blurred and at a time when I was trying to improve my social media output, a smashed screen wasn’t exactly helpful.
After six weeks or so of refusing that I needed to do something about it, I relented and took it in to a well known technology store to fix the screen. I was told that I could expect to wait up to two weeks for the phone to be returned. ‘Two weeks(?!)’ I thought. How could I cope without it for that long?! Of course, I was given a replacement as a temporary measure but it was like going back twenty years.
The fact I cared about this situation in the first place told me something about the role that my phone has come to play in my life. On reflection, this was a concerning thought. My contact base, my photographs, my social media, all rely on the use of my phone. For the first couple of days without it I found myself checking my pockets and even feeling ‘phantom buzzes’.
However, after a few days I began to enjoy the new situation. It felt as if I had been given permission to live my life a different way. I was not at the beck and call of other people at all times. I wasn’t obliged to check my social media through the day. I had time to focus on other things. I found myself noticing smaller things and taking note of what was around me. In short, my short term phone detox freshened my perspective on life. It also improved my mental health in the short term. It seemed to free space in my mind.
I now have my phone back, which also means I am back checking my social media more regularly (note to self – I need to regulate this somehow). However, I have come to recognise the value of having an occasional ‘phone detox’, time away from technology to regroup. I highly recommend it, even if only for a day.
Have you ever had your own ‘phone detox’?