I always have my phone in my hand, I am addicted, I admit that. I feel save with my phone. Accessible. But therefore I am always on duty. Without a break. Always checking, what’s on. Hello, addicition 2.0.
So you might can imagine, what a shock it was for me, to sit in my car, almost reaching Innsbruck, already 60 kilometres away from home – realizing that my phone isn’t with me. I forgot it at home (I have to say, that the sheer fact, that I FORGOT my phone, is actually a wonder. Something I never thought, would happen. Anytime. But it happened.)
Alright, I sat in my car, trying to still guiding the car properly and to NOT freak out. That went well. I just thought: „Alright. Take it as it comes.“
One day without my phone? Challenge accepted.
Bye, WhatsApp, Social Media, GPS, reminders and mails
I realized quite quickly, that I really totally rely on my phone. And that this little cute thing helps me pretty much during the day. That starts in the morning with the Alarm (thank God, that I had my phone for this). Then I listen to music in my car via my phone. Okay, I could do that, because I still use my old phone as a music player. But that is all, my old phone is capable of. It can’t even connect with WIFI (Trust me, I tried it all).
I have lots of appointments somewhere in the city. For finding locations I often use GPS. Not on this special day yaaaay.
I felt like playing paper chase.
I get quite a lot of mails during the day, so I am checking my mail account every hour. Not this day, my loves. I am out of duty – forced to.
I had an appointment at 11am, at 12.30pm and then at 14.30pm. As usual, you arrange date, time and location and the appointment is set. But without my phone – my access to the world in my hands – I realized that I didn’t rely on 100 per cent on this. On planned things. Because, if you have your phone, and there is a traffic jam or something like that or you forgot to fuel up, whatever, you just grab your phone, do a quick call, let the person, you are going to meet, know, that you’ll be late for 10 or 15 mins and everything’s cool.
But without a phone… you have to be on time.
Because if you aren’t, the other person will try to call you and if you aren’t accessible, the person might search for you or just go home. PRESSURE. And it is the same turned around. If the other person is late, what will you do? You have to rely on the made plans. You have to wait.
You have to be PATIENT.
Like… for real.
No checking Insta or Facebook in the meantime.
Frankly speaking, that made me super NERVOUS.
I am not the only one
I decided to wait inside the restaurant, in case, the person I am going to meet, is already in there. She wasn’t. So I sat down at a table with sight to the entry, just in case, she’d wait out there. When she came,
she first checked the entry area and as she couldn’t see me,
she immediately grabbed her phone to call me.
Addiction everywhere. I felt better. I ran out to make her see me. The first meeting went great without my phone.
How to call someone without a phone
For my third appointment I had to arrange something in advance, which would have required A PHONE. Bad thing, that my pretty golden iPhone enjoyed its day off at home. Thank God, the person I met at 11am borrowed me her phone. Otherwise I would have had to ask random people on the street hahahaha #notfunny.
But that was the only cheating, I did in this challenge. And it was a work call, that is forgivable, right?
More phone junkies
For my second appointment I for sure was super on point again, for the reasons, I explained. We met in front of a building with two accesses (great). So I sited myself in the middle of both. Shortly before the person, I was going to meet, came out the building, I met an old friend and had a quick chat. And in the angle of my eyes I saw my meeting person walking down the stairs,
doing a quick check for me and
then immediately grabbing his phone for calling me.
Addiction everywhere AGAIN. When this happened in the first meeting, I felt better, because I saw, that relying on the phone is a pretty common thing.
We don’t trust anymore
On this second time, I started to think about this addiction, we all don’t really realize.
We rely so much on our phone,
that we don’t rely on the people around us anymore.
We don’t trust us anymore.
Not just when making plans or appointments, this is one thing. And I am honestly annoyed by all the WhatsApp groups, who try to come to a point, but are filled with senseless and uninformative content and with sentences like „We’ll see“ or „I’ll check that out later“ or „Maybe I come as well“ or „I’m not quite sure, if I can, but I’ll let you know“ or
my favourite after texting for two hours:
„Let’s decide that spontaniously“.
No time, no trust:
We project this habits on our relationships
But also in relationships. Remember the shitstorm due to the „Read“-button on WhatsApp and Facebook and Insta? That caused quite a lot of fights in relationships, because honestly: How dare he reading our messages and not writing back? „That is ignorant!“ „He doesn’t like me anymore!“ Or maybe he just had no time to reply, how about that?
We get more and more impatient and can’t stand it to wait.
The „Read“-button should have shown us that. Instead we were blaming everyone else, who read messages and didn’t reply immediately. Immediately… Did you realize, how often I used this word for this topic?
We rush around and don’t notice our surrender anymore.
We are indeed zombies! Which leads me to my next finding: SEEING.
I SEE the world. Literally.
My third appointment was for an article about a party on a mountain pasture. By the way, therefore I had to arrange things in advance – a shuttle-service up, because I honestly hadn’t the time (and will) to climb mountains with camera equipment and other editor’s essentials for hours. Alone. Without a phone. This could have just ended in the worst way imaginable.
I drove up there to the meetig point WITHOUT GPS (so proud, that I found everything), but there wasn’t anyone. So well,
I had no phone and I had no person with a phone in sight. So I sat down and waited.
And strenghtened my belief in God, that everything will work out.
And as I sat there, waiting for this shuttle-service, I looked around (Whatelse should I do?) and I saw the world. I realized, that it was actually quite warm, but sometimes little wind bows came across and waved my hair, so that I felt it on my cheeks. I saw lovely flowers growing on the edge of the street. I felt the sunbeams on my forehead. I felt that my knees hurt from the change from high heels to sneakers. I realized (with shock), how people parked their cars. I counted them. I heard birds sing and OMG I didn’t realize this for ages, I think!
Fear of the lack of online presence
Sometimes little nervous thoughts crossed my mind, thinking of who might call or text me or thinking of my lack of presence on Insta. No story for one day.
People might think I am dead.
Ironic, because the opposite happened.
I really felt alive!
And I realized that I got more relaxed minute by minute, hour by hour. That is better than Yoga.
By forgetting my phone at home,
I bought myself the entry ticket to another world.
To our real world.
How could it happen,
that a virtual world
is more our home
than the real world?
Face-to-face communication – a rare thing
The shuttle-service came and suddenly there were also people. Funny, I was so focused on nature and the birds and on my minds, that I didn’t realize them. We sat in the shuttle and
I had a lovely chat with the children,
I probably had never had with my phone in company.
We arrived up there, I did my job and had lots of lovely conversations, while observing everything around me.
It was such an intense experience.
I smelt and felt and saw so much more.
Real vs. virtual – Guess who has won?
That might sound totally exaggerated for you, but I realized that I never notice things with all my senses. I notice where I have to go or be. I notice people’s faces and voices. I notice the traffic lights and signs on the street. I notice it, when someone calls my name. But focusing on everything that is happening RIGHT NOW just next to me, WHERE I ACTUALLY AM – that’s a thing I barely do. I guess most of us don’t.
Usually we are connected with the world.
With everyone from everywhere,
with the people right next to us.
The Walking Alive
I felt seriously recovered and decided to walk the way down with friends I met up there on the mountain. We had a lovely talk (again! Communication on the Go!), which I might hadn’t had, because I would have been busy doing stories and posting where I am. Writing this makes me realize, how sick this actually is.
The way down was through the woods and I tried to inhale all the fresh scents with all the power of my nose. I felt so happy and totally not stressed. Someone wants to reach me? Hm, I cant’t pick up or write back now, I am OFFLINE. And I like it. I really set my mind free and felt so free and not under pressure with „You have to“ and „Call me“ and „Call me back, it is urgent“ or with replying messages, doing stories, posting on social media and reading the News or „Latest trends“.
On this day I had time
for the people, I have REALLY been with and
for the places, I have ACTUALLY been.
Two hours is better than the whole day
When I came home, I for sure immediately grabbed my phone (thahaha that was clear). 9 missed calls, 10 WhatsApp messages from 4 chats, 3 text messages, 6 new mails, 11 Facebook notifications and around 80 Instagram notifications.
Hello, old life. It took me two hours to call and write everyone back. Well… two hours is better than the whole day, right?
Oh, and for sure I immediately did a Insta-story and let the world know the reason for my absinence.
Challenge done! Conclusion: OFFLINE is possible
For sure a phone-free LIFE ISN’T possible anymore nowadays.
I missed one spontanious meeting and the friday night plans of my girls.
But a phone-free DAY IS indeed possible!
And I will for sure do this again. Consciously. I am willing to have days off. Real off. Not just out of duty and no working off. But off-off. (You see, how I creative I am by the fact of not having the stress due to a phone presence and the duty of replying? I even create neologisms!)
Therefore: Thanks for reading, but better put your phones away now, guys.
Happy off-off-day! (I have to patent this lol)
PS: In case, that you wonder: The pictures you see in this article, were made one day after. Because a) I had no phone during this „OFFLINE experience“ and b) by the time, I got home and had my phone again, it was already dawn.