My phone is an extension of my arm. You would see me with it everyday, scrolling, typing, laughing at random things on Facebook, or even working on it till late in the night.
I would rarely be seen without it (so yes, my phone would accompany me to take a dump too).
My mum and mum-in-law would scold me for staring at the screen for so long. “You will spoil your eyes! You are setting a bad example for the kids!” They would say. I knew they were right, so the kids would be allowed only limited screen time. But when it came to me, I forgot all about the ill effects of screen addiction. So yes, a bit if hypocrisy there.
“Mama, mama!” My kids would yell. “Hmmm?” I would say, distracted. “You're not listening, mama!” They would tell, and then I would snap out of my mobile phone reverie and hear them out.
At times I would wonder why I was so interested in random mindless memes and posts based on other people's lives. I have told myself time and again to stick to use the internet for 'meaningful’ things, but somehow, the vast world of the internet distracted me.
Till, that day happened.
One fine morning, my phone slipped from my hands and fell with a crack on the floor. Instantly, the screen started turning black from the corner which took a hit. Within a matter of minutes, the black patch spread across the entire screen and my phone was faceless.
I took the phone to the repair centre, the guy there examined it and said, “three days.” “What? Can't it be sooner?” He shook his head gravely.
I walked home feeling like a part of me missing.
What happened next changed my life. Allow me to list it down.
- The first hour was tough. I kept involuntarily reaching out for my non existent phone.
- As few more hours passed,I began to be more aware of my surroundings. I focused on cleaning the bookshelf which I seemed to have no time to clean when I had the phone. So suddenly, I had time.
- I paid 100% attention to my kids. They had an extended conversation with me about their day, something which would otherwise limit itself to few minutes. I observed them wholly in their classes and at the playground. My observation skills increased and I was more aware.
- I went back to writing to do lists on a piece of paper. My fingers felt good. My neck pained lesser.
- My kids loved to see me without my extended appendage. It's not that they stuck to me throughout the day, but they appreciated my attention. Kids notice.
- I cared less about missed WhatsApp conversations and posts. I was more about living the moment.
- By day three, I didn't miss the phone much at all. When it came back, I didn't lunge at it. I just casually checked my messages, and saw that there was no fire burning. My three-day phone detox helped me considerably.
Often we don't notice how chained we become to technology allowing our kids to follow suit. A break is extremely essential to connect to reality. Now, I no longer am hung to my phone and know how to switch off,all thanks to those three days.
If you too are trying to get on a phone detox,Apps like Space, Antisocial and socialfever help.
You don't need your phone to do something. Rather let's disconnect to reconnect to life. Because moments with our kids don't come back.
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