As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m currently challenging myself to a digital reset for the month of November, inspired by the book Digital Minimalism. I’d like to share my experience and thoughts each week in hopes of inspiring others to pick up the book and ditch the constant bombardment of STUFF.
Before I dive in, I’d like to share a starting statistic or two: My average daily screen time as of Sunday, October 31 was 3 hours and 17 minutes. That’s almost 23 hours or one full day of my week spent looking at my cell phone. Yikes.
What I’ve learned this first week –
- I’ve got this irrational need to know what time it is. Like, I’m wearing a watch and sitting at a computer displaying the time in the bottom right hand corner, but I need to click my phone on. I think it’s part “did I miss a message?” because I’ve NEVER had my phone beep or ring or even vibrate (ironically to not disturb me), and I think it’s also part boredom.
- Again, out of boredom I check my personal email far too frequently. Since I’ve removed the app from my phone, that’s cut back but I admittedly haven’t been checking it once a day while at work – going to try and work on that.
- I do miss seeing random photographs of my niece or B throughout the day as them come in, but I remind myself that I have the opportunity to still see those texts on lunch or at the end of the day.
- Not having my phone in hand while entering work is weird, not in a sense of panic as if I had left it home like I had predicted, but weird.
- Bedtimes seem to go quicker when I’m not browsing. Maybe it’s because B can feel me relax as he nurses to sleep, maybe it was the glow keeping him up. I get to soak up all of the rubs and tickles (and slaps if I’m being honest) as he drifts off. \
What I’ve accomplished instead of spending my time online –
- B and I took two local hikes this past weekend, one with a friend that I haven’t seen since 2019 and the other on a new trail that we stumbled upon and will most definitely be exploring further.
- I’ve done a lot of reading – these totals are going to shock you at the end of the month if the momentum continues
- My house has never been tidier – ha! I’ve cleaned and reorganized our pantry and weeded my cookbook collection but in general, I’m far more motivated to tidy up each room at the end of each day before sitting down to read. I also weeded the books for our LFL and caught up on all laundry.
- I booked a trip to Puerto Rico to see one of my closest friends. She’s the type of friend that you could go months (or years) without talking to and then pick up right where you’ve left off when the reconnect happens. Well, I reconnected with her Sunday night with a “hey, I think it’s about time you meet my kid!” text and she responded with a “I’d love to but I’m living in Puerto Rico through the winter!” text. I couldn’t believe we had gone so long in between communications that I didn’t know this detail. So logically, I looked up flights to PR. Wouldn’t you know, some of them were only $87 roundtrip! B and I will be taking our first big trip together sans Taylor in December and I’m 99% excited to FINALLY BE ON A BEACH VACATION and 1% questioning my sanity.
Week of one ending statistics: My average screen time was down 51% from the previous week, averaging 1 hour and 37 minutes each day, or just over 11 hours for the week total. Impressively, Monday November 1 I was on my phone for a total of only 17 minutes!
On the days that I’m working from home, I do find myself lingering on my phone or checking to see if I’ve missed messages from colleagues. I think my work around is to turn my volume on during work hours and while it may be distracting, it’ll at least alert me instead of having me constantly checking. The couple of days where I was researching for our trip did raise my daily averages significantly, as does the Marco Polo app. I love that space and will not give it up, I’ll just know it skews my average according.