It’s been a little while since I decided to turn off email notifications on my phone. I expected it would be hard to adjust to after so many years of using them, but I loved it right away.
In fact, I loved it so much that I’ve started to rethink my phone use in general.
I was a late adopter of both cellphones and smartphones. I have nothing against them, in fact, I’d be lost without my phone these days, but I was reluctant to be reachable by anyone at any time.
It got to the point where I was gritting my teeth, or experiencing some other form of displeasure every time that little bell would chime. Then I would pick up my phone, read my email, and most of the time, respond right away. It could really interrupt the flow of my day sometimes.
I guess I just forgot that I had a choice about all that.
Lately, the freedom from email notifications hasn’t been enough for me. I want my phone to be available when I need it, when I want to connect with people near and far, and then I want to ignore it the rest of the time. I don’t want to be one of the people in these photos.*
I’ve been gradually using my phone less and less.
First, I put it on silent earlier in the evening and turned the sound on later in the morning. Then, I started turning it off earlier. I’m now at the point where I turn it off around 8:00 pm, and put it in another room.
For all intents and purposes, my phone has been banned from my bedroom.
I can’t even describe how awesome that has been for me. I feel like I have so much more time in the morning, and I’m much more relaxed and focused in the evening.
Sure, if there’s an emergency I’m unreachable (no landline). I’ve realized over the years that there’s probably nothing I could do anyway. I might as well get some bad news at 8 am instead of midnight.
Can you do it? What’s stopping you?
*I’m not trying to judge their choices, mind you. I have just found that the more I use my phone, especially when I’m around other people, the more unhappy and disconnected I feel.