Take 8 adults and no cell service for 3 days and guess what happens?
Nothing and everything.
This year’s summer family fun weekend involved camping in the mountains.
Trees and lakes and beautiful Rockies….and not one bar of service.
On one hand that weekend, nothing happened.
No consulting the almighty Google for the answer to a burning question.
On the other hand, everything happened.
Left to your own devices
You see, no service means you are left to your own devices in the best possible way.
That’s a somewhat underused phrase these days given that “devices” now refers to myriad devices that we are all tethered to – smart phones and tablets, iPads and laptops.
What that phrase really means is having to figure stuff out on your own. No phone a friend option so to speak. In this case simply no phone.
As we left our devices behind we became 100% responsible for conversation and entertainment. Just us and our brains and the great outdoors for inspiration.
And as a bonus, with no technology vying for people’s attention, there was so much more space for undistracted conversation or doing something just for fun. No time keepers. No task masters.
There’s a difference
You know there is a qualitative difference between consciously unplugging and having no service.
Don’t get me wrong.
I am a big fan of disconnecting from technology for any amount of time. During meals or when you first get up or for a whole day. By all means feel free to go ahead and unplug.
But the act of unplugging requires some self-management – a little personal discipline for you to be successful.
First, you need to get over the conversation in your head about why you can’t or shouldn’t unplug. You know the one…
I’m going to miss out on something.
So-and-so might be trying to reach me.
It really starts with giving yourself permission and then training yourself to stop checking in even just for a quick peek.
Admit it, on some level you are addicted to the screen.
That’s okay. We all are. By consciously unplugging on a regular basis you begin building the skill and confidence about being untethered to your devices.
But no service is a whole other level of freedom.
Self-management becomes irrelevant when there is no option to plug in.
It transports you to a time before we all embraced the tech revolution.
Just to be clear I’m not suggesting that we need to toss our devices away. We just need to be more intentional about how we use them.
A relationship fix
Imagine if you treated someone in your life like you do your phone…
Needing to be always connected
Constantly checking in
Following every move
Sounds like a dysfunctional relationship, doesn’t it?
Technology is supposed to make our lives better, so allow it to do just that by taking charge of how and when and why you plug in.Technology is supposed to make our lives better, so allow it to do just that by taking charge of how and when and why you plug in. Click To Tweet
Here are some tips:
Notice your anxiety about no service.
I know you might get sweaty palms just at the thought of not being plugged in, or worse yet losing your phone. Take a breath and remember that this constant connection stuff is simply a bad habit.
Get curious about your reasons for not unplugging. You know that voice in your head that tells you why you should always be on 24-7? It’s just a thought. It’s not an instruction manual.
Start small. You don’t have to head to the woods into a dead zone. Begin by unplugging for short periods. At our house we have a no screens policy during meals. Trust me it’s lovely once you get over the initial hump.
Go big. Treat no service as a gift from the universe. If something really important is happening, you’ll hear about it. Most of the rest of it is just noise.