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photo by Gilles Lambert on Unsplash

An Entire Day Without My Phone.

A 12 Hour Triumph.

6:26 am:

With a weird sense of relief I hold down the side of the phone and, once the prompt pops up, slide the button across the screen and watch the pixels quickly fizz out to that calm black informationless void. I try pressing the home button, like giving CPR to a clearly dead person, and the lack of that soft click that the phone usually kicks back at you makes the entire thing feel… well, dead.

I toss it’s lifeless form onto my bed and head to the kitchen make a coffee.

Why am I up so early dramatically turning off my phone?

Well, after a week of feeling relatively unproductive I’ve decided to make two significant changes to my routine:

  1. Wake up three hours earlier than usual and get more work done in the morning.
  2. Remove the distraction of my phone.

For the record, I don’t actually think my phone is a distraction, but like all the most insidious addictions (and I know a few), I assume I’m not even aware of what might be having a significant effect on me.

So, best cause of action is to just cut it out and see how I fair.

6:48 am:

I’m well aware that I’ve made turning my phone sound more dramatic that it really should, however I’m one of those people who is more-or-less always on their phone.

Yeah, go on: Judge me.

After about the 120th snide comment directed at you as you quickly check your phone during a dinner or while having a beer with a friend, or at a funeral or whatever, you tend to just stop caring how rude or disinterested in people you look.

I know, I know. This is why I’m turning the fucker off.

6:52 am:

I’ve almost written 300 words before 7:00 am. Maybe this plan is working. Granted, those words are this actual article, but at least it’s something, right?

6:53 am:

Decide I’ve earned myself a break. Open YouTube.

6:55 am:

Decide to re-adjust today’s list.

  1. Wake up three hours earlier than usual and get more work done in the morning.
  2. Remove the distraction of my phone.
  3. Do NOT watch YouTube.

8:00 am:

The lack of communication is oddly calming. I am aware however that I use my phone to take photos of my drawings (rather than scanning them) and that I’m going to need to turn the little bastard on at some point at least temporarily.

9:25 am:

Turn on phone so I can take a photo of a drawing, which is fine, I’m not using it to check anything.

9:26 am:

See a message from an old friend who’s in Berlin for one night.

Shit, shitting shit. This is the kind of thing I could have avoided if I’d just kept the phone off.

Don’t get me wrong, catching up with old friends is great and all, but when you live in a European city with a reputation for partying and you’re from the Southern Hemisphere, then your entire summer is generally full of friends coming over escaping their winter on a little European jaunt during which it ‘would be great to catch up’. That’s all well and good, but after you’ve entertained three of them over the course of a week, you suddenly realise you’ve put your entire life on hold in order to essentially be an unpaid tour guide that goes on a week long bender.

Which is even more distracting than the phone.

I’m now at a point where I’m going to start lying about where I live, or at least just post Instagram shots from different cites in order to confuse anyone trying to maintain a face to face friendship with me. What an arsehole.

If only I’d kept the phone off.

At least I haven’t watched any Youtube yet.

10:43 am.

I’m back on track. I’ve managed to pack 10 posters tubes and send them out to people (this usually takes me all day).

Interestingly, while walking to the post office to send those posters to all corners of the globe, I allowed myself to flick through the phone and weirdly enough nothing was really going on, largely I suspect, because I haven’t been feeding it all day. With no tweets being sent, or instagram posts being made, or comments of mine for people to answer, there’s no notifications coming my way and as a result, not much to actually look at.

It’s a bit like feeding animals at the zoo. But in this case if you stop feeding them, then they just die and then you don’t have to worry about the animals any more.

12:44 pm

So I’ve watched a bit of YouTube. But it was while I was eating some lunch and I can’t eat and work at the same time so it’s fine, it’s totally fine. Once I’ve finished this salad, I’m back to work.

1:23 pm

ok, now I’m back to work.

2:24 pm

So I’ve realised I can set up Whatsapp as an application on my desktop.

So that’s good.

I’m not using my phone at all right now.

I have however spent the last 30 minutes talking to a friend from home on Whatsapp which is somehow now connected to my phone through the internet.

I’ve also had to go back to YouTube a few times in order to send her some pretty funny stand-up bits that I’ve recently seen.

6:10 pm

Decide NOT to watch a 3rd episode of Mad Men on Netflix.

I’m not sure were I found the time to watch the preceding three, but that has totally happened.

While watching it I did have to use my phone to google all the actors and find out what they ended up doing after Mad Men finished.

6:30 pm.

Well, that rounds off a solid 12 hours of work. Thankfully I remembered to turn my phone off after checking Jon Hamm’s IMDB, and so now I’ve got the excitement of being able to turn on my phone again after an entire day of having it off (those bits in the middle obviously don’t count).

7:30 pm.

I’m writing this last entry for the day while sitting at my local bar just down the road from my house. I’ve told everyone about my triumph today and everyone seems quite impressed. As I type there’s a few of them trying to tell me something, but I’m just going to finish this off before I bother pretending to listen to them.