Friday, January 17, 2014

Disconnected

One fatal blow. That's all it took. My iPhone took the dive, falling a full 6" (give or take) from my purse to the counter. Now ordinarily that wouldn't seem like a tragedy, but somehow this was "all it took" to cause my phone to become inoperable. By inoperable I mean I could hear sounds and notifications...but the screen went blank. (Truthfully, I don't think it was just this little toss out from the purse to the counter but for whatever reason it was the moment at which it no longer worked.) This began a 48 hour period of being completely disconnected.

Understand, like many living in this era, we've done away with our home phone. I have an iPad and laptop and I'm able to connect via wifi, but calling and texting became obsolete. If I wanted to reach someone, I had to send them an email or Facebook message. 

I quickly realized the amount of time I spent on my phone was truly a distraction. I spent the entire morning just working on my computer while multi-tasking other projects and chores. I was impressed with how much I got done! I became aware of the fact that a "ding" here and a "notification" there was all it took to divert my attention away from projects. Without the distraction of the phone, I could focus on the task at hand and there was no worry or fear of "what I was missing" because it simply wasn't an option.

Dinner out was focused on conversation with no chance of an interruption. Conversation was more meaningful and I was truly engaged because I knew there was no risk of someone trying to reach me. There was never a temptation to look something up, check a message or make a quick contact. 

What I also became aware of was the inconvenience of not being able to pick up the phone and make an appointment, or not get simple and quick information by sending a text. I was relying on emailing my husband to text or call someone on my behalf. We will NOT call him my secretary, but he was a HUGE help! :) I also realized it had been several days since I had talked to my family and I had no idea what was going on with them. 

Did the pros outweight the cons?! Let's just say that this 48 hour period taught me how dependent I've become on this little piece of technology. It also taught me how it's not always a good thing, especially when it diverts my attention away from family time or conversation or things that truly require my focus. It's also presented me with the challenge to TURN IT OFF! That's right. Let me explain.

The minute I had my phone back, and I knew it was in my pocket, I was SO TEMPTED to pull it out and check it, look to see if there were notifications, or just WONDER what I might be missing. WHAT??? After a 48 hour spell of being unplugged, productive and uninterrupted how could I be so codependent?! 

I'm challenging myself to leave my phone in the other room - or turn it off! - during meals, family time, or moments of conversation with my husband or son. I want to FOCUS on the PRESENT, being in the moment and NOT rushing to check whatever notification beckons me from an electronic interruption. 

It's time to disconnect for the purpose of connecting! Disconnecting from the distractions and interruptions and connecting with the people and moments that matter. 

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