A Phone-Free Weekend
Could I manage an entire weekend without using my iPhone?
Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash
This past weekend (Saturday and Sunday), I decided to go phone-free as much as possible and see how I felt about the experience. It had been a really rough week, and I could tell by Friday morning that I would need something “extra” over the weekend to reset for the following week.
🚫 What I didn’t do
- I didn’t carry my iPhone 📱 around with me everywhere like I normally would
- I didn’t allow any notifications from any apps or phone calls (aka Do Not Disturb)
- I didn’t wear my Apple Watch ⌚, which would’ve also allowed notifications or incoming calls
- I didn’t send or receive text messages (this one was tough)
- I didn’t check my email ✉️
- I didn’t take any pictures 📸
- I didn’t listen 🎧 to any music, podcasts, or audiobooks
- I didn’t place orders through apps (e.g., food delivery, grocery delivery, Amazon)
- I didn’t use it as a GPS 🗺️ while driving
✅ What I did do
- I did take my iPhone with me when we left the house, primarily for safety reasons
- I did use Apple Pay so I could have touch-free payments
- I wore my Casio “dumb” watch that simply displays the date and time
- I “allowed” myself to still use my iPad and MacBook, but I use those much differently than I use my iPhone
I missed texting
The biggest convenience I missed was texting — it’s a primary form of communication between me and my son. So if I wanted to tell him something, I had to get up, go find him, and actually talk to him! 😅 (To be fair, there were at least a few times when I simply yelled his name and made him come find me.)
And this experiment was tougher on him than it was on me. “Dad, did you get my text?” Then I had to explain what was going on. This was a first-time experiment, so it’s not like I sat him down in advance and explained what I had planned for the weekend. I really hadn’t even thought about how this experiment would impact him until we were in it. And I didn’t want my experiment on limiting technology to be a hindrance or a punishment for him.
If/when I run this experiment again, I’ll be more intentional in communicating to him in advance, and it might even be an experiment that I run for both of us.
Reduced social media use
I used social media much less — almost not at all. I did have to reply to a few people, and for that, I used my MacBook.
Overall, I would say that less social media use is generally good for me, and I intend to write more on that later.
I missed music
Granted, I wasn’t totally without music for the weekend. As I mentioned above, I did still use my iPad and MacBook. We have several Amazon Alexa devices throughout the house that let me easily play music. And of course, my car has a radio.
But my normal routine of always having my iPhone in my pocket or on my desk next to me, streaming audio to AirPods that are almost always in my ear? I definitely missed that.
No missed phone calls
For me, phone calls weren’t a problem because no one ever calls me anyway. 🤷♂️
For those of you who do actually get calls, I’m not sure what to recommend here — perhaps try to let people know in advance, or change your voicemail message to indicate that you won’t be returning calls until Monday. (Remember, there were times when we weren’t always available by phone, and we all made it through those times. And if a true emergency happens, I’m guessing there are other ways that someone can contact you.)
I felt more rested 👍
To summarize, by Sunday night, I felt much more rested and relaxed than I can remember in recent weekends. I didn’t have any FOMO (fear of missing out), but I also didn’t have any anxiety.
For once, the weekend had been a cyclical change for me — Monday through Friday were for working, Saturday and Sunday were for resting and doing other things.
I know I won’t be able to have phone-free weekends every weekend, but I plan to try this again, soon.Posted on February 21, 2022 #Focus #Technology