Mobile phones, we just can't live without them.
Well that's what I thought until I left both of mine at home when I went on a day trip to London. That was yesterday and look! I'm perfectly fine! In fact I didn't experience the anxiety that I thought I would and I could physically feel the relief from being untethered to my iPhone. I wasn’t constantly interrupted by notifications and it felt good!
However I am horrified by how many notifications I came back to. So horrified I wanted to share this video of what a days worth of notifications looks like. This is my work phone (which has email notifications turned off) but my other phone had just as many notifications from whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram!
This was quiet an interesting experiment, I hadn't made a conscious decision to be without my phone for a day so people asked me "How on earth did you forget your phone?" and "Are you not freaking out?"
Here's how it happened
I checked the time on my phone before I left the house. I don't have a watch and there's no clock in my room, that's how much I depend on my phone! I saw it was after 6am and I really should be on route to the airport. So I quickly put my shoes on, grabbed my bag and left the house, not realising both my phones were still on my dressing table.
Blissfully unaware of my mistake I got in the car and decided not to plug my phone into the AUX cable because I quite liked the song that was playing on the radio.
I was already at the airport before I noticed. I did just about have time to go back and get it before my flight but I decided not to. Partly because I was very short on time but also because "Go 24 hours without my phone" is on my bucket list, so why not today?
Here's what happened
Luckily I was travelling with a colleague so we had a laugh about my mishap and I asked him to Whatapp my mum so she knew I was OK but I would be off grid for the day.
I had my laptop so I wasn't totally off grid and I was able to do a days work but I didn't have access to some of my most used apps when I travel like Music, iBooks, The Trainline, Google maps, Whatsapp and Instagram. I only used the desktop version of Skype, Facebook and my email/calendar. Quite lean for me!
I travel a lot for work so when I've answered any urgent emails I like to read iBooks on the plane and train before 9am and after 5pm (otherwise it feels like more like a 13 hour day.) I was still able to do this as I used airport wifi to download a new book on the kindle app on my laptop and I was away!
News soon spread that I needed to be contacted via email or Skype.
As I work on a website which is designed to be mobile friendly it wouldn't be an ideal long term choice as I couldn't see what anything looked like for customers on an actual phone!!
My only issue, well mild inconvenience really, was not being able to tell the time whilst on the move because as I said I don't have a watch. Luckily all airport, train stations and bus stops have clocks and so many people are flashing their phones and iWatches around I didn't have to ask anyone the time. It also make me aware of how often I check the time on my phone when I don't really need to know what the time is!
One step further
To fully feel the benefit of being without my phone I think I would have been better to totally "unplug" and leave my laptop at home too!
To get close to this experience I should probably choose to go a Saturday without my phone or laptop. Not sure my employer would be thrilled if I chose a work day!