Fone Free Day – An Initiative

There’s a saying that goes,

An excess of anything is bad.

But we are living a life of excess everyday. Excesses of food, TV, information, lethargy, negativity, pollution, alcohol, drugs, money, what not. Sure, there’s minimalism in our home decors, in the art work we buy, and in our hearts too, but that’s an excess of another kind.

Relax, this blog post isn’t about how you should lead a hermit’s life. But it is about cutting back on an excessively obsessed life, one bad habit at a time.

I’m talking about the number one excess we indulge in daily – Our phones.

Remember there was a time when phones were only meant to make and recieve calls? There was a time when if you wanted to connect to the internet, you would have to use a desktop, or a laptop. There are househlds now where you won’t find a desktop because the family’s online requirements are taken care of by their phones, or their tabs, or their watches :-/

This phenomenon is very well reflected in a though-provoking, contemporary poem by Deepika titled – The Massive Bugs, where among others, she talks about the ‘phone-bug’ that’s bitten us.

It forced me to think – when did this technology get so out of hand that we eat and sleep with it right beside us? It’s like our phones are our Mentors, Managers and Secretaries, all wrapped in one plasticky (okay, metallic, you phone-freaks), inanimate body. It’s almost as if they have a life of their own. Oh wait… they do!

We keep cribbing about how too much of ‘us’ is out there for prying eyes to see, how there’s no privacy anymore, without realising that it’s our own doing.

Our phones keep a track of what we do, where we go, how we look, who we interact with…. even what’s in our bank accounts and how we spend it. No matter how much you encrypt data to keep it safe, someone out there is going to find a way to crack through your digital fortress… someday.

This report discusses a study according to which Indians spend around 160 minutes a day on their phones. Alarming, isn’t it, that while we can’t even spare a minute of our busy lives on more important things like working-out to keep ourselves fit, we can spend nearly 3 hours browsing on our phones. Just how busy are we again? There are other reports too. All you have to do is consult Google and it will tell you that it’s the same story EVERYWHERE!

But like I said before, this post isn’t about you relinquishing phones altogether, though God knows, that’s what we should work towards. This post is about a simple initiative that we may take, to make a change in our lives, beginning with just one day.

I have talked before about going wireless on vacations to enjoy your off-time even more in this post. Taking my own advice, this time when I was on a family vacation to Goa, I managed to stay away from my phone (except in my hotel room), kept the photgraphs off social media, refrained from talking about it on social media too, and concentrated on experiencing as much of the place as I could in the limited time and place. Coming back to Deepika’s poem, both of us agreed how we should take a day off from our (ph)ony lives and try living in the real world – phone-free and wireless

This post is about an initiative both Deepika and I are taking, and we want YOU to be a part of this initiative. We are celebrating –

 

fone free day

Here are the rules and instructions for the day –

⇒ To be observed on the Last Sunday of every month.

No phones, no social media (not even on tabs, desktops, or any other device).

⇒ Phone allowed only for – some calls (keep them short, to the point, important ones only). No texting, emailing, whatsapping or snapchatting, or whatever. Work related emails or messages are allowed, but try to minimize usage.

⇒ Try to get other’s involvedthrough word of mouth, or do it a day before)

Put the above logo on your blog the day after the Fone Free Day and faithfully record how your day was spent

⇒ Next month, on the Last Sunday, create a post with this same logo and tell other people to get involved.

Since tomorrow is the last Sunday of this month, the First Fone Free Day will be tomorrow, i.e. 26th March, 2017.

You do not have to link my or Deepika’s name to your blog posts about this initiative. We are not asking for credit. We are only asking for observance – honest observance.

We know it will be uncomfortable initially. It’ll be for us as well. Personally, these days I can’t go without you guys and Pinterest (I have an obsession with Pinterest). So many of us and so much of our lives depend on our phones for numerous things, but remember it’s about cutting back on an excess in life. Surely you can do that for one day a month? Right?

Still with me?

Hi5! 😀 😀 

 

you-rock-green-background-cy122

Remember, this is an initiative to put back some reality into our lives; reclaim ourselves and quit being slaves to technology. Kick back, relax, like Sundays are supposed to be enjoyed. Grab a book (Kindles are allowed, as long as you aren’t shopping online or browsing for books 😉 ). Paint something, create something, meet people in person, not on screens, or just be. But don’t use your phone.

It’s one day in an entire month. It’s not an obligation, but voluntary and of course, if you have an emergency, you are free to use your phone. But remember, if you cheat, you’ll only be cheating yourself. This is for our own good.

So I’m game for tomorrow. I’ll get back to you guys only on Monday with a summary of what I did on a day without my phone.

Are you with me?


P.S. – If you have queries, please ask away before the clock strikes 12. This Cinderella will become unavailable to you on any social media platform after midnight tonight.

 

Copyright ©2017 by Pradita Kapahi.

All rights reserved.

Original Images from: www.clipartfest.com and www.commentsyard.com

 

97 thoughts on “Fone Free Day – An Initiative

  1. Super write up dear. Well penned and motivating… 👍👍
    Requesting, all readers to join in for a day and see and feel for yourself, how much free time you have to follow your passion, be creative, do some baking, gardening, connect with real people…And the list could go on.
    Please do join us in our initiative and do post about your own fine free Sunday.
    Cheers 👍

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Why should I go a day without my phone because somebody else thinks I might be obsessed with it? Or is this a case of “one man’s meat is another man’s poison?”
    Some of us are old enough to remember a life without phones at all, then a different life with them in which we could communicate with family 6000 miles away any day any time, keep a daily journal safely online with our hobby photos, check into our flights, train, hotels without scrambling around for documents, pay for a coffee or a beer with friends without cash, instantly praise my daughter for her pay rise in USA, search out a reference for an academic article online, get news updates on a terrorist incident in our capital city.
    Notice I haven’t mentioned Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, et al. These are the real culprits of our societal phone addictions, the drugs to capture the young as they earn billions from their clicks, reposts, tweets, photos, and adverts. So don’t stand atop an ivory tower and advise the rest of us to abstain a tool which is a source of “good”. Many people are addicted to the “bad” or the corporations who use the psychological addictiveness of behaviourism to capture you hook line and sinker. So, a day without Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest …… you have my support.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I stand corrected, Dr. B. I agree that the real culprit are social media websites. But i’ll also add, not necessarily in my defense, but out of my own experience that there was time when these websites hadn’t become available on phone, and yet people were addicted to things like texting, giving missed calls by way of letting people know that they remember them, pr just downloading music, ring tones or playing games. I was afflicted by the same addiction till I decided to reclaim my life. Sofor me, the real addiction started when people realised that phones could be used for much more than just calls. Also, I can give you numerous examples from my own family where people use their phones primarily for anything and everything. Granted technology has given us much, but it has taken something from us too. This initiative is based on my experience of technology particularly phones. If you think I’m on a high horse, so be it, but I’ve decides to change things for myself. I force no one to think the way I do. If they are with me, well and good, if they aren’t, I can do it without them.

      Like

      • Well said Pradita, you have given good examples from a time gone past. Your post goal is a good one, but as you can tell I disagree with the target. But I do not disagree with the sentiment at all. The real enemy is “social networking” NOT the fantastic uses today of a phone. I grew up without washing machine, fridge, bathroom, tv, dishwasher, car, phone, but have all these things today. But none are addicted to because of who I am!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I understand you appreciated my goal, just not my singling out the particular technology. I respect and applaud you for that and for correcting me too. But please note, I’m not against all of technology at all. That’s not what I said in my post except in the initial few paragraphs. In fact I’m a fan of certain technologies myself. The Internet for example, which has allowed people like you and me to interact with each other in spite of the miles between us. However, I staunchly believe that if we take out the ‘smart’ from our phones, we’ll have a lot of time on our hands. Because really, emails and social media apart, how many times in a day do you use your phone for meaningful things like calls, banking, reading or music? Remember we have separate gadgets for all of these activities but we chose to do them through our phones. Why? Because everything is concentrated in one piece of technology. No wonder we don’t need watches, ipods, books and credit cards. So I’ll ask you again, are we addicted to our phones? I still think we are. 😊

          Like

          • It all depends on lifestyle. I am currently sitting in a bar with my wife and friends. In the last hour our daughter has confirmed meeting time and place tomorrow for Mother’s Day lunch, one of our staff in Kathmandu has sent her report on yesterday’s teacher training, I have bought a book, joined another library and chosen a new beer for the pub with the owner. Plus alerts from yourself. We are going home in a moment and have been browsing chicken casserole recipes to use. It goes on and switching off my phone for a day is nothing to do with addiction in our cases.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I admire that you have so much constraint over your own habits to keep things from getting addictive. I must admit I don’t, and in fact, not a lot of people do. It’s those people who need to kick off this habit. I have suffered from an addiction when I was posting pictures just for the heck of posting, or just to get that kick out if receiving likes and comments. I did realise that i was doing myself a lot if damage, so I stopped. Now I stay away from Whatsapp groups, I don’t do FB beyond my family’s posts, I never have snapchatted and never will, and my twitter and instagram accounts are mostly about the blog too, not my personal life. I answer to emails only. People have accused me of being disconnected, but that’s how I’d like to be. You’re right. It’s a matter of lifestyle. Happy cooking 😊

              Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a very nice initiative pradita. Phone free day? I had a phone free month lately. It was a good experience. Had so much of time for everything. I’m not that addicted to phone or anything. I learnt this when I was without tv and mobile phone for 2 months after my12 th exams.
    I appreciate your efforts. We need to spend time for ourselves and family.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. And I also think switching everything off on particular day won’t work out. We must realize we are spending more time on it and reducing the time can only work. Because we do need net and phone for various purposes.I suppose we spend lot of time on social medias. May be a post regarding that can be a eye-opener.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I know we cannot entirely change the habit in a single day, but my point is – start with one day. Then stretch to however long, your call entriley. There are people out there who’ll confess to pt being able to live without thier phones for a single hour. I hope to address them. I wasn’t much different myself a while back till I had my daughter and I had to change. But then I realised just how much I gained by ditching the habit. I know people who will post 4-5 pictures a day, or share things every hour. Where does this lead us? So making a conscious effort a single day can make us realise that there is more to life than our phophotneshe. That’s why it’s just one day – for the sake of a beginning

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I had given up on Facebook for more than a year, deactivating it altogether. Usually, on an average I have almost 200+ unread messages on WhatsApp because I don’t bother with them. Digital detox is necessary

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Technically I am not eligible for this Sunday, coz I’m reading this post today-Sunday. Damn! But this is so cool..I mean for me, even a Monday would do for that matter 😀 maybe I will chose a day in the coming week and call it ‘ No-Phone’ day 😉😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ..n guess what Pradita, the Wi-Fi hasnt been working all saturday and today sunday too. So that’s almost a no-phone day by default 😉😉 I’m the only one at home who has a mobile connection plan..rest are cut away from the net. No whatsapp msgs for a whole day and probably another day too…that too in thus modern age of the 21st century!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh this was the initiative you’d told me about! Somehow I came across this post just now. I’ll definitely join you in observing the next no-phone day. Great initiative, dear. You’ve my support! 😊

    Like

  9. Wonderful initiative. And you have written it in an engaging manner too. Coming to the uses of the phone, I accept that I’m one of those addicted too. However, my device doubles or triples up as a lot of things. I don’t have a TV or computer so most of my official and non-official work is done through this. Plus, I watch movies on it too. My eBook reading is done on this. Blogging too. And of course, the calls.
    But yes, despite all this, I guess your initiative is wonderful. Maybe next month I’ll try. But not on a Sunday. A weekday is better for me.
    Looking forward to reading next month how your experience was.

    Like

    • Thanks a lot for the encouragement. I get how someone like you who has so many uses for their phones could not do without them. It gets difficult when your work and fun is through the same equipment. My main aim is to limit use of social media on the phone. I think you already do that. As for the rest, try to minimize usage when you can. It’s not a compulsion, it’s an initiative and its YOUR initiative, that’s the most important thing. You can go at your pace. The important thing is to take a step forward. And I’m glad you’re already making a commitment to that.

      I chose a Sunday because I understand how some folks need their phones for work through the weekdays. But if Sundays don’t work for you, it’s fine. Chose another day. I’ll be publishing my first days experience tomorrow. I hope i don’t give on this 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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  12. Good initiative. I have turned my Smartphone ” unsmart” by not checking Facebook , limiting Whats App usage email. I do not post on holidays, and all my posts are retrospective and not realtime. Its a real relief not to be ” phony”.

    Liked by 1 person

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