By having your phone turned on you’re making yourself accessible to other people. Think about that for a moment. Think about the times when you didn’t have a phone, when you were a kid (if you’ve lived in those times). Furthermore, by having your phone always on you you’re making yourself accessible to other people ALL THE TIME.
Now pretend you don’t have a phone. Pretend no such thing exists. And imagine that every step of your life, every step of your day, you have someone trailing behind you, and next to you, and ahead of you, and occasionally (or constantly) they poke you. Ask you questions. Tell you things. Nudge you. Smile at you. Frown at you. Or even worse, yell at you. Tell you stories you don’t want to hear.
How long would you last being constantly interrupted? How can you create when you don’t have a moment of peace? A moment to yourself?
That’s what you’re doing by having your phone on you, and by having it turned on.
TURN IT OFF.
Better yet, try a day without it altogether. Warren Buffet doesn’t have a cell phone, from what I’ve heard. Maybe I heard wrong. Doesn’t matter. Just the idea of it makes great sense.
We forget that our most prized connections are made face-to-face. Everything else is a substitute, and that substitute quite often takes away our time from really meaningful interactions with people with whom we WANT to interact, not are FORCED to interact.
So turn off your phone. And write. And maybe don’t turn it on when you’re done and see how you feel, so what new things open up for you in real life, not on the screen.
Illustration by Matt Blease