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A month ago something amazing happened!
I broke my IPhone swimming in the sea in Thailand and lost 22,000 photos and videos – covering everything I had done in life since I bought my first iPhone 3G, 8 years ago. I know! Seriously, I nearly cried.
How was I going to use WhatsApp? Instagram? Message People? Call people? What if an important email came through?…
“Surly, without me online: everything will fall apart, nobody will remember me, my business will fail and maybe the Facebooks server will crash because of all my unread notifications”.
“OMG, YEAH, THE LITTLE RED NOTIFICATIONS THAT I WONT BE ABLE TO READ. NO, NO, NO, THAT’S TOO MUCH!“,
I said to myself.
Then, after a few days, something crazy happened…
I realised I wasn’t disconnected from the world at all. In fact, by being disconnected from the internet, I was in fact more connected to the world than I was before.
You see, we are more connected by technology than we have ever been. This is a blessing, but also a burden; because we are also the least present and socially connected than we have ever been.
Once I realised this, something even more crazy happened…
Now I didn’t have my phone:
I didn’t have to ask people for the Wi-Fi password every time I entered a new room.
I didn’t have to look up at my girlfriend and say, “two minutes, I’m just reading something”.
I didn’t have to constantly reach into my pocket and refresh my Facebook newsfeed that I had just exhausted 6 minutes ago.
I didn’t have to miss everything going on around me. The little things; the world moving.
Without the ability to check the online world, I didn’t have to give my attention to it.
I was able to be truly present with what I was doing.
I was able to strike up a conversation with a human, rather than sending someone a message.
I was able to really listen to people without thinking about the post or article I had just read.
And do you know what?
When I did go online: the internet was still moving, my business hadn’t failed, everybody did still remember me and I was still waiting for the same people to reply to my emails. Moral of the story?
Don’t buy a £2.99 waterproof phone case from eBay.
No, seriously now. This is what I’ve realised. As we are more connected now than we have ever been, it means that when you do take some time to disconnect from your phone/the internet/social media/your email, everything will be waiting for you to tap straight back into on your return!
Next time you reach for your phone, ask yourself:
Is it actually necessary?
What might I be missing if I’m not being present in the moment?
The same people will still be posting the same stuff and tweeting the same tweets when you return; and people aren’t going to send a search warrant out if you don’t reply to their emails straight away.
Don’t be afraid to take some down time and be present; you’ll thank yourself for it.
The internet and all of its unlimited resources are not going anywhere; but, life? That might just pass you by.
So, yeah. A month ago, something amazing happened. I broke my phone, lost everything; but, I also found a whole lot more in return.
I haven’t replaced my phone yet. I’ve gone over a month without it and do you know what?
I’m doing just fine.
What would you miss if you left your phone at home for a day or switched it off during a meal?
The honest answer? Probably not much…
Thats the thing you really want to make sure you don’t miss.