August 8th, 2014 -- My phone shattered on tile flooring. I've been mobile free, until TODAY (Friday, September 12th, 2014). Was it hard? Actually.... No!
It's funny, remember the days when we used to say "I'm going unplugged!" with such pride... as if you were demonstrating strength of character, discipline, and restraint? Now that everything has gone wireless, mobile, and instantaneous... being plugged-in is the new unplugged!
Here are some lessons learned from a Mobile Free Life Experience.
Plugged IN??? - Mobile Free: A Life Experience
The choice to go mobile free was an easy one. My phone broke and I had only a month plus change before I was up to renew my contract with the option to buy a new phone. With that in mind, I wanted to spend extra time with my family and didn't want to get bogged down by all this instantly-gratifying-notifiable-alerts on my phone -- go mobile free? Sure! And, considering that being connected to Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Google+, several email accounts and news alerts... it was just too much.
So what have I learned? Well, the first thing I noticed was a drastic decrease in my use of social media. I mean DRASTIC. I had to make the extra effort to jump on my laptop to interact with folks on Twitter & Facebook. Moreover, I found myself doing a lot less browsing on all media platforms, be it social or not. I also noticed a lot of international use on Google+... apparently people use it (and use it a LOT)!
I found more time.
I made time to read books (somewhere, my wife is applauding).
In that vein, I was able to get time to draft some of the books I've been planning on writing. I even found time to slate titles that I didn't yet conceive of.
I learned to take things slow and really be in the moment. This allowed me precious mental clarity in paying more attention to my family. My baby boy always considered me the fun one; after a month of increased attending to him, he really shines to play-time-with-daddy.
I discovered more opportunities to cook -- even mastered some French sauces.
I was able to reminisce a lot more. So often life moves too fast, we forget what happened even yesterday. Some of the most cherished moments were looking back on the last year as my son expanded the family. Precious times.
I noticed myself doing a lot more listening and a lot less talking.
I sipped away at coffee, without worry of multi-tasking... savoring the many flavors there are, even in a lightly roasted bean.
I worked out more.
Trained Jiu Jitsu more.
I daydreamed more.
Thought more upon the future... what were my real goals? Where did I really want to go with my "career"... my life?
It's a rare thing to bring life's velocity down a bit... it'll be even harder as the days go by.
Technology is integrating so many attentive aspects of our lives that I think we're losing a certain, simple yet beautiful side of our human experience.
I suppose the biggest lesson I learned was savoring moments. Instead of obsessively checking/responding to alerts on my phone, I spent that same energy realizing the full potential, the scope of beauty, the depth of ever-precious-value, and the rarity of the moment at hand.
This moment only happens once. Life, being made up of many moments... don't let this moment pass you by.