On Saturday I decalred that I and Deepika, my fellow-blogger and partner in crime, would be going off our phones for one entire day, making it the First day of our initiative called Fone Free Day. As part of the day we were to abstain using our phones, except for some important calls, and absolutely refrain from using any social media websites. We were also to write about our day, faithfully, and evaluate how much of a success it was. Deepika has written about her day here. Please check out her thoughts on the day and how successful she was.
Sorry about the delay on my part. The Fone-Free Day sort of extended into the next two days. Well, here I am with a summary of my fone free day.
The day began with promise. I went about my usual business at home, sat down with a book in the morning, instead of with my laptop, and actually finished the last 3 chapters of the book that had been left unread for well over 4-5 months. And in the process I realised just how easy it is to read from an actual book, than a screen, even a Kindle screen. I love my Kindle and I have all sorts of books stored therein, but an actual book, in my opinion, can only be enjoyed when you have the weight of a book between your hands and the smell of a new book or old book about it, if you like.
I remember as a young teen, I would go to the book cases, open their doors, feel the waft of old books on my face, then close them again, then open them again, smell again, close again… and it would go on. My Father used to joke that it was an addiction of a weird kind. Have any of you ever done that? Have you ever…erm… smelled books? 😄
So going on with my day, it was all looking very, very hopeful, till I realised I was to meet my friend that day for Lunch or Coffee! Damn! I’d forgotten about it. That would mean using the phone to call and fix the meeting place and hour. Because there was no alternative, I did just that. Call her and fix up a place 😦
The rest of the morning went by in a blur, getting myself and my daughter ready for the lunch. Then I had to make another call to tell my freind so she could find me. That happened twice, so that was 3 calls in all. Well, I did say calls were allowed but I wasn’t particulary happy about making them.
The rest of the afternoon was spent chatting up with this friend, talking about our lives, our kids, sampling food at the place we were dining at and playing with our kids. It was a FUN day. She took the pictures because I told her I won’t. So we did record the day. I was meeting her after 6-7 months and considering that she and I are besties, I’d say it was a memorable day.
The evening was spent phone and social media free. I sat down with my daughter and her chalkboard, we drew things, figures, squiggles and basically had a lot of fun. She has now progressed from making just lines to waves.
While she drew all that, I crocheted a hair tie for her, which she wouldn’t deign to wear, so I had the help of one of her stuffed toys enlisted the next day for a photo shoot –
All in all, I was pretty hopeful that the day would end on a positive note, but towards late night, after I had put my daughter to bed, I began to long for one glimpse of, guess what, Pinterest! I think I’ve said before, I have an obsession with Pinterest. I can go for hours just looking up random search words and images a search throws up, but mostly its about books, arts and crafts. So, at 15 minutes to midnight, there I was, vow broken, and browsing Pinterest of all things! It didn’t matter that the next day too I stretched the no-phone thing and refrained from all social media except WP (is WP social media? I think at some level it is). So basically, I failed in keeping myself away for a single day.
So was there a point to this day? Yes, absolutely! For one, I learnt just how weak willed I am! Secondly, I did things that I never would have had the time for, had I been staring into my phone. I’d been promising myself that ‘that’ book would be finished someday, but I never got around to doing it. I’ve always given time to my daughter when she is at play, but never without stealing glances at my phone, except if we are outdoors.
Thanks to my work, I’m almost always staring at a screen. If not work, then mindless internet browsing claims my attention. I haven’t been much of a social media butterfly for a while now and I’d like to keep it that way. Neither do I play games on my phone. But aimless browsing and Pinterest-ing? Yes, guilty! 😦
Since I met a friend that day, I spent the first half of the day relatively phone-free, because we had so much to catch up on. There was no time for aimless phone browsing. But I’m curious to know how I would have fared, if it were one of my usual days. Would I have then shown the same resilience, considering that I failed towards the close of the day to keep myself away from mindless browsing, even if it was only for 10 minutes? I guess I’ll find out next month.
But one good thing that came out of this exercise was that I have been, since that day, staying increasingly away from browsing on my phone. Like I said before, the next two days too, I abstained from using the phone beyond checking on WP comments, Instagram, and of course Pinterest, but only for sometime.
It definitely feels lighter, without that clutter in my head of constant pings and replies, or browsing the internet for work or for other things. I am also devoting more time to things I like to do, reading, crafting, which were heretofore gobbled up by my constant attention to the phone. Suddenly it feels like I have time! I guess they’re right when they say –
Make time for things…
So yes, there was a point to this exercise, even if for a day, even if I failed.
My goal now would be not to limit it to a day but to do this regularly. A lot of you who commented on the previous post told me how you guys have been doing it in your own ways, like leaving the phone switched off for a few hours, or stepping out without it, or not taking it to bed with you. They are all very encouraging ideas! That’s what I aim to achieve too.
I’m onto that goal already. I hope I’ll do better next time. Let me know your thoughts on how and where I went wrong or right with my day. Also, if you had your own Fone-Free Day, tell me about it. I’d love to hear your success stories.
Have a Great Day!
Copyright ©2017 by Pradita Kapahi.
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