We all intellectually know that we are quietly nurturing addictions to all kinds of stuff – certain foods, coffee and certain apps or technology.
I recently had a strong urge to decouple, disconnect, untether myself and my family from all technology for one whole day. Imagine that! So last Sunday, we as a family of 5 decided, we are not going to use any smartphones, tablets, games consoles, tv, netflix – nothing, just for one whole day and see how we felt about it.
Everything got switched off, unplugged and bundled into a drawer to be forgotten about. We left the TV on the wall but symbolically put the remote control in the drawer.
I think I might have imagined it but once we did this, I thought I saw my kids breathe a sigh of relief. As if they were saying, oh great, now that it is clear that these things are not to be played with today, I am free to focus on other things. They simply dropped their focus from these devices to other things in a heartbeat.
We decided to make a short drive to a new beach that we had heard of, which turned out to be an amazing find, tucked away in the majestic coastline of Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Personally I found the experience really enjoyable, freeing, relaxing and envigorating. I thought about how much time I spend clicking, swiping, reading, looking, squinting….and how all that time spent really amounts to nothing. It never makes me feel better, not in the same way that sitting on this beautiful beach watching my family play around in the sea and sand, makes me feel better. If that’s a 10, then wasting time on my smartphone is probably a 2.
I think my kids found it far more enjoyable – they had a clear boundary set for the day – no devices – for anyone and they seemed to relax more and readily became more engaged with us and the world around them.
The only downside to this was there was no photographs taken of this lovely day, although saying that, I actually remember this day now far more than I have of the hundreds of other events or days in the past that I have snapped.
Perhaps, just perhaps that reconnecting with the physical world and truly experiencing a day out with all your senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, hear) etches that days memory a little deeper in your brain than a day lived through a lens.
Yours in health and happiness,