In a week’s time, I’m going to turn off my phone. I’m not going to know what time it is, or whether I’ve got any emails. I’m not going to be posting on Instagram, or checking who’s followed or unfollowed me (guilty habit; I know, I know). I’m going to wake up when I’m rested, and sleep when I’m tired. I won’t know whether it’s breakfast time or lunchtime, so I’ll eat whatever I feel like. I might get out my watercolours, do some sewing or read a book.
I’ve always thought to myself that I’d like to go on a break to a cottage in the wilderness, surrounded by snow with no internet. In my daydream, there’s a fire, cake, and plenty of milk for tea. I don’t currently have the resources to head to a cabin in the snow, but I do have a beautiful house with a fire, and a recently-fixed oven in which to bake.
So I’m going to snow myself in. For at least 48 hours (timed by the dark rather than by the clock) I’m going to see what happens when I don’t have my phone. I’ve chosen this period because it’s a clear few days when I don’t need to be anywhere, I don’t have plans to see anyone, and there are no expectations of me. Let me be clear though; I love social media, and it is absolutely a force for good in my life. But there’s no denying that I spend less time being creative now than I did when smartphones weren’t a thing. I think back to when I was a teenager and I was always doing something. I painted (often on the walls of my bedroom), I wrote endless letters and stories, I sewed and I went places with my friends. Browsing social media is my default setting when I have a spare five minutes. I am challenging myself to find out what I will do when it’s not there.
Here are my thoughts on the ‘rules’ that I’ll set for myself.
What I won’t do;
- Browse social media
What I probably won’t do;
- Watch box sets/Netflix on telly
What I might or might not do;
- Watch films on DVD
- Use my Kindle
What I will do;
- Drawing/painting/colouring in
- Do Lego
- Work through workbooks/printables
- Write letters
One thing I’m a bit stuck on is the use of my laptop. I might really feel like writing, but I don’t want to have to write things out by hand that I’ll later have to type up. I also have no other way to listen to podcasts or music, and I need it to access the course I’m doing. I’m considering giving my husband the squirter bottle we used to train the cat, and he can spray me with water if he catches me browsing.
I’ve come up with exceptions too;
- Google Maps – we might decide to go on a day trip and might need directions.
- Emergencies, obv
My thinking boils down to this; go old school. If I want to find a new recipe, I’ll look in a cookery book. If I want to take photos, I will use my camera rather than my phone.
Have you ever done something like this, whether a real cabin in the woods or a virtual one? How did you find the experience?