For those of you that know me well, you know I spent the past 6 months without social media, and used a phone that’s only functions were calls, text and WhatsApp.
Before I decided to rid my life of the web I felt like my phone was attached to the end of my arm, and I actually took a step back and laughed at how dependent I had become on my phone. It was like an obsession, a reflex whereby I was clicking the screen every 10 seconds to check for messages or burying my head in the small bright screen whenever I felt awkward in a situation. It was always in my pocket or hand, and having grown up feeling quite indifferent to social media and cool new gadgets, this made me quite out of character.
I was due a phone upgrade, and being a lover of science, I decided to use the opportunity to try an experiment. I instead decided to downgrade from an iPhone 5c to a small, low storage and minimal function LG. When using the camera it was like looking through a fogged-up glass, and the screen froze from day 1 if you clicked two buttons in quick succession. But the alarm, call and text buttons worked and I was content that I had what I needed.
I deleted it all; Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter. You name it and I didn’t have it. I even stopped posting on here for a while. I took a complete break from the digital world, and it did me the world of good.
During those 6 months I started looking outwards rather than downwards at a screen. I started to appreciate beauty in little things, like walking my dogs and not having a clue what time it was, waking up and spending the first few hours of my days off from not knowing what one of my mum’s friends had had for breakfast, or if North Korea had blown up America yet. There were some aspects that weren’t perfect, like not knowing what my friends were discussing when they were talking about a current meme, or online trends. But overall this simpler lifestyle was one I could have happily continued for as long as I’d liked.
My experiment was a success, because I now know I can live without a smartphone and social media, and enjoy a tech-free life. Now that I am a student at university, I have started to reintroduce social media and I enjoy it as a way of seeing how my friends at different universities are getting on, networking and keeping up to date with the latest news related to Physiotherapy online. I do not have my phone with me all the time, and most of the time I don’t carry it my pocket. I can go hours without checking my phone during the day, and having found a happy balance makes me feel accomplished.
I would highly recommend trying this experiment if you are feeling like your phone is something you cannot go a minute without; it has certainly helped me.
That’s all for now!