Once upon a time we used to use it to make phone calls – now the mobile phone has become a smartphone. It is an alarm clock, book, notebook, calendar, torch, navigation system, daily newspaper … the list goes on and on.
It’s amazing what these little devices can do – and I admit I’m a big fan of our digital toys myself. Used properly, they can certainly save us time and increase our effectiveness. However, we also run the risk of them eating up our time. How many times have I caught myself picking up my mobile phone because I wanted to write something down – and four emails and six WhatsApp messages later I found myself on Facebook and thought: what did I want to do?
Especially in today’s world, where information from everywhere is coming at us, it is very important to oben the digi-umbrella from time to time to have self-determination over our time and to be able to decide more consciously what information we consume and when.
When, why and how often do you reach for your mobile phone?
Sometimes it is also very interesting to reflect in which situations we reach for our mobile phone and why.
Out of boredom?
Because we are looking for self-confirmation or fun? (e.g. when we wait and hope for answers to our messages)
Or is it distraction because we don’t like the situation we find ourselves in or would rather be somewhere else?
Experience more and more consciously without digital filters
Consciously going offline can therefore also strengthen our ability to accept unpleasant situations (no more distraction possible – at least not with a mobile phone …) Above all, it sharpens our perception because it is easier to focus on the here and now in the analogue world if we are not distracted by digital toys.
The way can be perceived (and remembered!) more consciously if we look for road signs and waypoints – and do not let ourselves be guided by the navigation system alone.
A conversation with my counterpart is so much more focused when I don’t have my mobile phone on the table.
The beauty and details of nature can be enjoyed and remembered much better with the naked eye and all the senses if there is no camera lens in between.
It is much easier to get in touch with people if you ask real people for directions – and not Google.
Planning to switch off consciously
Just give it a try.
You don’t have to give up the wonderful functionalities of your mobile phone completely. But how about planned and conscious offline times?
Place your mobile phone in a fixed location at home, for example. That way you can resist the temptation to look at it all the time. Put it there from a specific time in the evening to a specific time in the morning. (And this place should not be your bedroom.)
Or leave the mobile phone at home, e.g. when walking the dog.
If you don’t have a dog, make the decision to switch it off or put it aside for another occasion – e.g. when eating (also and especially when you are alone!)
And if you’re bold and curious, try not to use your mobile phone for a day or two on your next holiday – and be surprised how you feel and what happens.
If you’re switching off for a longer time, it’s a good idea to let people close to you know so that they don’t worry.
After all, we nowadays often expect an answer from the other person within at least 24 hours.
And now – switch off, relax and enjoy the freedom.
Because: switching off begins with switching off.