Recently, I’ve started going on runs without my phone. I used to always bring it with me, even if I wasn’t playing music. It just felt like it made sense to have my phone with me while I ran. After all, if I stopped for even a second at a traffic light or because there were too many people on the sidewalk, how would I pass the time until I could run again? Or what if a client emailed me while I was out and I didn’t get to it in time?
It took me an embarrassingly long time to break the habit. I felt naked leaving the house without my phone. It felt as horrifying as forgetting to wear a shirt to the grocery store.
But slowly I came around to the idea of not having my phone in my pocket at all times, and the change was dramatic.
I have legitimately noticed an improved ability to think: I can problem solve through issues that come up in my head in a more logical manner.
I feel less anxious: I’m not worried about the work I have to get done or the things I have to do. I can look up and enjoy the sight of birds flying by, squirrels hiding their nuts from me, as if I would take them. Unless…
I’ve also noticed that my technology does not like being left home alone. That I have more notifications when I get back home. I get more news alerts, more social media updates, and more app notifications.
I’m not sure when it happened, but I think we all agreed that technology should take the wheel and we should just sit back and relax like the giant people in Wall-E.
Of course, we could all agree that we don’t want this technology anymore. We could all come to a unanimous decision that we want to return to rotary phones as our sole means of communication and horseback riding as our sole means of transport. But…We’re not going to do that. We’re just not.
So maybe technology is in control to some extent, but it doesn’t have to control every aspect of our lives.
We have the ability to leave the phone at home when we go out to dinner. We can go for a walk without technology.
Those Facebook and LinkedIn updates can wait, I promise you.