The 2.5 hours I was able to power off and take time for myself at the Yoga Nidra workshop reminded me of something. I remember in college when I got my first cell phone. It was a Motorola StarTac. And my nightly ritual was to plug it in to recharge and turn the power off. Really. I turned the power off on my cell phone every single night.
These were the days before texting plans became more affordable. Besides, we all used to keep our computers running 24/7 so we could hear any time someone IM’ed us. We didn’t need no stinking cell phone calls at night!
Fast forward to today, and the only times I power off my phone are when I get on a flight. The rest of the time, I leave it on vibrate so I can still hear when I get any kind of notification. It kind of drives me mad that I can’t quit my phone, so I try to run away from it any chance I get. I leave it locked in my car when I’m at yoga. I don’t even miss it when it’s in the back bedroom, and I’m in the front yard playing with my kid.
I don’t know why we’re all so attached to our phones. If I missed a tweet, I’ll catch it being retweeted a billion times 10 minutes later. Or I’ll hear it on the radio if I’m in the car. Or I’ll see it shared on Facebook when I’m back online. Or if it’s really devastating news (like the tragedies in Boston and West, TX this week), I’ll hear from another human being that I’m near, like a neighbor or co-worker or my husband.
I really love turning my cell phone off. Those few times I do, I do it for me. Yeah, even on flights! I like that I get to power off and then sink into a book. No one can bother me (I have ways to avoid conversation with fellow passengers too, hehe). I get a few quiet moments for myself. And I’m so present. I think I might do it more often. The world will keep turning if I’m unreachable for an hour here and there.
In our ever-connected world, this is what it’s come to. Go straight to voicemail. I’ll see your text later. And I’ll catch up on Twitter & Facebook when I’m ready to be back online.