Sounds like the start of an unproductive and scary day, right?
If you expect that today there will be no electricity, that’s one thing, but to just not be there for you when you need it the most — what to make of that?
Now, imagine that it is a day like any other. You wake up, get dressed in semi-fashionable clothes and manage to make it to your favorite café. Just as you sit down to sip your steaming latte, with your mind ready to face the world — you discover that your phone is dead. The black, shiny screen is staring you in the face and reflecting a hint of slight panic.
You are cut off from the world.
While everyone around you (smiling as they sip their coffee) is happily checking their newsfeeds, laughing at the latest cat videos and staying “connected”.
You, however, have just become the odd man — or woman — out.
It is called the “fear of missing out” or FOMO for short.
Lucky for you, it is all in your head. You are not missing out of anything online, but you are missing out of people/events/conversations/things around you, in the life you are currently living. So, maybe it is still in your head after all.
It is time to reprogram your mind and set those fears aside, remember what it was like to live in the pre-digital age. Not so very long ago, no one had a cell phone (recall those pay phones and pagers?), yet life went on and people were still able to communicate. Somehow, we all managed to get to work on time without our cell phone as alarm clock, we made plans to meet up with friends on the weekend — and we kept those plans, and we went to the grocery store with a list in hand to buy exactly what we needed. There were no last- minute calls wondering “Is there any mayonnaise left in the fridge?”.
Sad, but true, we used our brains and our intuition more in the past than we do today for simple tasks.
We rely on the internet to be here for us 24 hours a day, whether we are Googling medical symptoms, or trying to get from point A to point B. Move over maps and human directions, GPS is taking over. Plus, it even speaks to us, who wouldn’t love that hands-free instruction?
Could you last 24 hours without the internet?
And actually manage to enjoy it too?
Should we even be asking questions like this, or should we simply have the willpower to shut our screens down when we need a break?
We have grown too attached to our devices, and rather than serving us, we are serving them.
When was the last time you shut off your Wi-Fi for the night? Here’s a helpful tip: You should be sleeping for 7–8 hours anyway, so why not reduce the EMFs in your home as you get a more relaxed shut-eye.
When was the last time you shut off one of the many smartphones in the house? It used to be that there was a land line (which could also be unplugged), but nowadays it seems as if everyone has their own personal number…
Now is the time to start questioning “Why do I spend so much time online?”
Technology is addictive. Like smoking, or drinking, it makes us feel good, often happy, yet sometimes very sad. There is a lot of give and take, push and pull, with the amount of technology that feels right. Yet, we are paying with our eyesight, our tired brains and our unsatisfied fingers. We are often searching for something that does not exist.
We compare ourselves to others, how much they have, how much we don’t…
We see others as more successful, with more followers, we follow those that are more beautiful and put-together, though none of this really matters — and it does not define who we are.
An Instagram picture may be worth 6,728 likes for a film star, but just because you only get 20 likes on your own account (from friends and family), does not devalue you as a person.
Did you know that in 24 hours without the internet, you have 24 hours to think for yourself? Very simple math, though the prospect may seem a tad frightening if you are no longer used to the quiet of your own company.
Stop listening to the voices of others, stop putting yourself in their shoes, stop eating what they are eating…
Be here, for yourself, right now, for a full 24 hours.
The first digital detox is hard, but you will find out a day later that no urgent email came through, you might even open up your inbox to find nothing at all from your friends and family. Newsletters don’t count as missed items. And if you don’t have the heart to open them, use the mindfulness of logging into your account anew, to unsubscribe if you haven’t thought about them in your time off the screen.
What will you be doing on your next (intentional) 24 hours off-line?
Ready for more un-digital inspirations?
We’ve written a Digital Detox Guide to Freedom and we would love to share it with you, so you can rediscover the joys of a life lived offline.