How many of you have tried to leave your mobile phone untouched for a whole day? Can you resist the urge to check on the endless notifications that pop up throughout the day?
Realistically, it is impossible to function without your mobile phone as multiple aspects of your social and career life is connected to the device that fits in your palm. Some may feel that they are missing out on what’s going on in the world should they leave their mobile phone at home.
But why can’t you live without your mobile phone? Aside from contacting family members or peers during emergencies, why are we so tied up with our devices?
The following answers may shed some light behind the need to stay connected.
- Occupy and spend time
One of the biggest reasons why people are hooked on their devices is the need to spend time and kill boredom. For example, when a person gets bored and wishes to talk with his friends or to socialise with others, he’ll likely whip out his mobile phone and open up messaging apps to chat.
This takes out the hassle of making a trip to his buddy’s house to talk over a cuppa.
On the other end of the spectrum, messaging apps allow for those with social anxiety to remain connected with others without the need to physically meet. This enables them to still feel part of a community or society without even stepping out of their homes.
- Buy tickets, food, book a ride and even hire cleaners
Nowadays, there are so many apps that can help you book a ride, buy tickets, order food and even hire cleaners.
Too lazy to cook? Just order take out from your favourite restaurant with a food delivery app. Forgot a key ingredient while baking? Order groceries with a shopping app and have them delivered to your doorstep within an hour.
- The influence of social media
Social media is a platform for people to socialise and interact with each other. One can either hide behind anonymous profiles or be completely open about their identity on social media.
With social media influencers sharing their daily lives online, users could feel connected to a person who was probably inaccessible in the past.
Chatting with strangers too is a norm these days with the many social messaging apps. But be careful. It isn’t always what it seems to be online. Remain vigilant and stay safe when connecting with strangers online.
A day with my mobile phone
I have tried to go a full day without my mobile phone recently and to be honest, it wasn’t that bad.
Yes, I wasn’t able to access all of my social media accounts and couldn’t text my friends for updates on what is going on in their lives. But I managed to spend a day focusing on my priorities and mainly myself without the constant barrage of notifications that demand my attention.
It can be hard for some to live, let alone survive without their mobile phone because it is considered as the primary communication tool of communication.
What I am suggesting is not to go cold turkey with abandoning your mobile phone but take tiny baby steps to weave yourself away from that 5-inch flashing screen we carry around in our pocket.
- Replace cell phone with other psychical objects
This is an extra helpful tip for those who are familiar with the weight of their mobile phone in their purse or pocket. Try carrying a notepad, portable music player, newspaper, water bottle, a packet of gum or other similar objects to replace keep yourself occupied.
- Make detailed plans in advance with friends and family
With a mobile phone, you can make spontaneous plans with your friends and family. However, the absence of a mobile phone forces you to plan in advance with many details.
While more people are cancelling on plans in the name of the joy of missing out (JOMO), being stood up by friends makes you think twice on whether that friend is worth keeping in the first place.
It would be a good idea to share with your friends and peers that you are going incommunicado for the day. That way, they will find other ways to get in touch with you should there be any emergencies or changes in the plan.
- Replace cell phone time with other activities
Need an activity to destress? Instead of binge-watching the latest episode of Dr Pimple Popper on your mobile phone; try reading a book, sweating it out at the gym or listening to the radio.
Such activities can serve as a reminder that there is more to life than just sitting there and texting your friends or posting Instagram stories the whole day.
All and all, it can be difficult to function without our mobile phones at this time and age. However, our over-dependence on these devices can bring more harm than good.
Personally, I was more present when I spend my day without my mobile phone. I had more time to focus on activities that I enjoy, and had more freedom and focus to complete my to-do list.
I realised the importance of meeting my friends and chatting with them, not just texting them.
Heck, I even managed to finish at least three chapters of Animal Farm; a book that I swore to read for the past year or so.
I won’t be saying goodbye to my mobile phone anytime soon but after this experiment, I’m more aware of the world around me and the choices I make.