My personal first activity is to disconnect to reconnect. I like most people have become addicted to my phone. Do I need my phone all the time? No. Is anything I’m doing on my phone at any given moment super important? No. I realized I was at risk of becoming completely disconnected from everything that was real.
My first order of business was to charge my phone away from my bed. I realized that in the morning right after my alarm went off I spent at least 15 to 30 minutes scrolling through my phone. I was checking e-mail (which could wait at 5am) I was looking at Facebook statuses (which can always wait). That’s how I woke up in the morning…staring at a screen. The morning after I moved my phone away from my bed, fed the dog, took him on a walk, and meditated all before I glanced at my phone. I felt motivated and productive all day. I felt calm and at ease. I continued this for the next week and the results were the same. I was happy.
During the day I also started leaving my phone in other rooms (not glued to my hand everywhere I went). I rarely looked at it and was not like one of Pavlov’s experiments every time my phone would chime. I felt like a new person. I was more focused on tasks at hand. I was more focused on the people I was speaking to in person. I kept my phone off during the school day and was more focused on my students than the e-mails my colleagues were sending.
Then…I fell off the wagon. One morning I walked across my room to get my phone and got back into bed. I spent my 15-30 minute period on my phone, doing meaningless activities. That day I was annoyed by everything, distracted and in a fog. I didn’t seem to put it together and continued this behavior for several more days. I even moved my phone back to beside my bed for a couple of nights. Then one day I realized how easily my buttons were pushed by my students and I realized the direct correlation of being too connected and feeling less connected. I’m still working on this. I have good weeks and I have weeks where I fall off the wagon. I do now understand how it makes me feel to be hyper-connected and I refuse to settle for feeling disconnected from life.
To end I will leave you with a beautiful video I saw recently depicting the problem we all face of being too connected. I challenge you all to disconnect to reconnect.