Good Evening Friends,
Today was a wonderful day. I enjoyed a spur-the-moment visit with my grandparents, Grammy and Tappy. I cherish days like this when I am able to set aside my to-do list for the afternoon and focus on things that matter most. We shared stories and scripture and mugs filled to the brim with my Tappy’s perfectly brewed coffee. As I sat on the couch of their quiet condo, I savored the peace and quiet. My grandparents are in their mid-seventies and have never once owned a computer. They have a dictionary that they refer to as their ‘computer’. They keep their one mobile phone, a modest flip-style, on a small table by their front door. They share that one phone for when they do errands or travel for the night, but when they are home it is as if that phone does not even exist. The concept of the internet, Instagram, email, and Facebook are interesting to them, but they do not feel a void by living without social media. Rather, they enjoy the simplicity of being disconnected from our ever-connected society.
In the past, I have unintentionally judged others for being attached to their phones. Over the course of the past year, I became one of those people. I would have entire conversations through texting, I would check Instagram far too often, and I would immediately spring into action whenever a little red notification popped onto the screen. It was not until late in the year when I realized how exhausting my phone was. We have so many modern conveniences at our fingertips and I think we often take them for granted – and worse, abuse them. I am blessed to have an iPhone. It keeps me connected to loved ones when we are apart, it acts as a navigation system when I am traveling, and it wakes me up as my alarm clock everyday. I use it to take most of my pictures, as it is almost always within arm’s reach. Apps could make for an entirely new conversation, as I have cultivated quite a collection of those as well. The bottom line is that we are so blessed to have the technology that we have, but I have come to realize that I need to cut back on being so ‘connected’ all the time so that I can spend more time focusing on what matters most.
When I got home from my visit today, I put my phone upstairs on my nightstand and then brought my laptop and notebook downstairs to work. I have now enjoyed a full three hours without touching my phone once. I have read scripture, caught up on new posts from blogs that I enjoy, cooked dinner for myself, and written this post. Over the past week I have been thinking about ways that I can disconnect even further, and here are a few of the ideas that I would like to put to use soon:
- Enjoy an analog weekend, disconnected from all social media
- Take a break from Facebook for a few days (or more)
- Do not have full conversations by texting
In place of social media I intent on reading, writing, and creating more. I will enjoy more quality time with loved ones. I will be able to sit and enjoy time where my mind is quiet and can stretch to form new ideas and concepts for designs. I will update in a later post after I employ some of these ideas and let you know how they work for me. If you have anything that you do to disconnect please share it in the comments below. I would love to hear your ideas!