I’ve been seeing a lot online about these digital detox challenges and camps. Essentially, You spend a weekend to a week without social media, your phone, or television. Pretty much any electronics.
I will admit: I am addicted to my phone. Mostly because I handle everything through it. Events and business contacts and the different things I’m in charge of are all handled through Facebook, Messenger, or Email. I’m a control freak so I need to constantly be able to be reached at all times.
Yes, I am glued to my phone and usually have it in my hand all the time. Which isn’t great. Notifications give me anxiety so I always have to check them to make them go away (turning them off just gives me anxiety that someone is contacting me and I don’t know). I have two laptops and hardly use them because I have my phone! A few minutes can turn into a few hours and more times than not, my productivity goes down the drain with my battery life.
So I thought maybe it was a good idea to try one of these “detoxes.” And even though no one was forcing me, boy did I make a lot of excuses. I couldn’t do it this or that weekend because I had events or meetings and what if someone tries to get a hold of me??? Rarely do I have a weekend where nothing is happening. I was just going to have to suck it up.
I compromised and instead of nixing out all digital devices, I pledged no social media (and email/games) which is what I use a majority of time on my phone anyways. No Facebook, Instagram, Email, or Snapchat. I don’t really use Twitter or Tumblr and I made an allowance for Youtube (on the TV only) because we don’t have cable.
My routine is I usually wake up and mess around on my phone for an hour or two before I get up. This morning was the first day we actually got Fall weather. It was cool and cloudy and rainy and the dogs were snuggled up with me. I ended up sleeping until 10-11. Yep. Good start.
Instead of grabbing my phone, I grabbed one of the many books I had on my bedside table that I’ve been meaning to read. I had started Alias Hook forever ago and hadn’t gotten very far so I picked that up again. I think I got about a third of the way in by 1pm and then we had to get up and get ready.
First on our agenda was our friend’s pagan meet up at the park. We finally got to throw on some layers and were all set to go….except then we accidentally locked ourselves out the house without our keys.
Our house has two different locks. We always lock the bottom one as we leave and then lock the top deadbolts with the keys. Naturally, I turned the bottom lock and shut the door as we left. Rony hadn’t grabbed the keys thinking I had them and I hadn’t because I thought he had them. And the backdoor was locked.
So, naturally, I picked our front door’s lock with bobby pins. I’m not even lying or exaggerating. Rony was upset because we were going to be late and were going to have to call a locksmith and I figured it didn’t hurt to try to break in ourselves. I had seen different videos on picking locks (for writing purposes!!) and if that didn’t work, I was going to try the credit card trick. Luckily I had a few bobby pins in my purse. I stripped them, looked into the key holes at the tumblers inside and somehow managed to get it unlocked in five minutes.
Rony was impressed (so was I, to be honest) and we are now going to make sure those other deadbolts are locked at all times because holy shit it should not be that easy to get into our house.
The pagan get together was nice and we had a good time chatting with people and eating snacks. We didn’t get to stay long because I had an art meeting after that and Rony had to drop me off.
When he picked me up, we got Starbucks and food and snuggled on the couch while he watched the news and I kept reading my book. I am a fast reader. Always have been. I finished that book in one day. It was about 11 at night when I was done and cleaned a bit before bed.
At the end of the night, I had 57 freaking notifications and it was kiiiiiiiilling me.
Sunday was another lazy morning, snuggling with the dogs. Rony totally forgot about the Magic Prerelease happening and was going to do that at 1pm and I was determined to get the house totally clean by the end of the day. We did all the laundry, put the animals away and let the kittens out of the room to play in the entryway and let Mae Mae roam the house, and swept and mopped the dinning room and kitchen.
I took breaks to start reading Basic Witches and we ate cereal for breakfast. The dogs ran around the house and as Rony was getting ready, we finalized our 31 Days of Halloween movie list. I sketched out Inktober ideas in a new sketchbook he had bought me and drank tea and it was surprisingly very relaxing.
Yes, my phone went off all the time. I had to put it on silent. I almost just straight turned it off, but then I had anxiety that something would happen and no one would be able to reach me.
That was really the hardest part. There was so much anxiety from not checking those notifications, even though I knew none of them were important or pressing or needed immediate attention. I have an admin team now for the Artist Collective to take care of things, people could get a hold of Rony if they really needed me, and nothing was life or death.
Did I want to Snapchat or Instagram my day? Absolutely. Did the world fall apart because I didn’t tell everyone immediately my feelings on Basic Witch as I read it? Nope.
The house got cleaned, we were productive, I spent time with all the animals, the house smelled WONDERFUL (seriously, Bath & Bodywork’s Fall candles are the best), and I didn’t feel this claustrophobic cluttered feeling from my surroundings anymore. The laundry even got all put away.
We hung out at Rony’s work for a few hours and I did more sketches in my notebook. I filled up about 5 pages in it and figured out my Inktober theme for the month. My planner got filled in and updated and I felt a little more prepared for October. I even packaged up some orders I’d been meaning to fulfill.
The weekend was over and all in all, I had 107 notifications.
And wanna know what? NONE of them were important. None were life or death and I didn’t miss out on anything just because I waited a whole weekend to get to them.
I think that helped. It had been a while since I was able to have a nice, relaxing weekend just with myself and a book and Rony and the animals. I felt relaxed and productive and realized I didn’t need to be attached to my phone all the time.
So will I do it again? Definitely. I think a break is needed from social media every now and then, especially with how it is now in days. It’s a break from the comments and arguing and constant need to post post post. I don’t need to check up on other people’s lives when I have my own to live.