Off The Grid

Random Observation/Comment #445: Sometimes you must disrupt flow to restore order.

good book speaks volumes

Have you ever felt controlled by your technology? Music becomes a crutch to memorized lyrics and familiar tempos while you’re pushed and pulled to all this made-up work.  By made-up, I mean things will still be if I don’t check someone’s updated status or life will still go on, if I don’t read that article.

We literally look at our phones at least 100 times a day, and then the rest of the times, we’re being bombarded by some type of a work computer screen or TV. When do we stop? When do we unwind and unplug?  On vacation, we’re constantly looking through the lens to capture the moment or trying to figure out what to do next. Why can’t we just do nothing?

I didn’t even realize how crazy it was making me until my phone stopped working. Maybe there’s a reason why our shower thoughts are sometimes so profound.  I love how they are almost fleeting joys of discovery.  Can I make that happen more? Can I absorb in the culture deeper instead of blocking off senses because it’s just a part of a routine?

I think this deserves some attention. Maybe answers aren’t supposed to be at our fingertips and maybe that buzzfeed link didn’t need to be clicked. Can’t we just wait to receive that text? Was that tweet really that important?

Clemens’ Guidelines Staying Off the Grid:

  • Only check phone 10 times a day.  (3 of them will probably be for taking photos of meals).
    • Turn off all push notifications on all social networks/apps
    • Tell your friends/family/significant other you only check messages at 11AM and 3PM at work (during coffee breaks).
    • Remove all games from phone (except maybe crosswords)
    • Wear a real watch so you don’t always rely on your phone to keep time.
  • Don’t put work email on phone. This will help you disengage and leave work feeling satisfied when things are completed (or at a point where you don’t have to worry about them the next day).
  • Don’t watch more than 1 hour of TV per day.
  • Don’t read more than 5 pages of reddit per day (this one is tough).
  • Bring a physical book to read on the commute. Audiobook is also an option (but only focus on one thing at a time).
  • Take a 5 minute break walking to get a drink of water (without the phone) for every hour of working. Use this time to rest your eyes.
  • Don’t listen to the same song twice in a week.
  • Dedicate only phone time (I may multitask and do this with toilet time). Use this time to check social networks or share something profound.

More and more I feel like we’re all just boosting our own egos and making ourselves feel more important than we actually are. Every little notification we get is an artificial dose of good feelings that someone cared and connected with you.  Is this really a problem, though? Does it need a change? Maybe it doesn’t for you because your phone is the only thing keeping you entertained at breaks, but I currently don’t have my Nexus 5 anymore, so this seemed like an effective use of my time.

~See Lemons Off the Grid