“Trish, I dare you to go phone-free for a day! Do you think you can do it? I’m honestly curious what that would be like…”
Hi there, and welcome back to another week of Ask Trish! I hope you’re all well and having a great August.
Thank you so much to this week’s question-er for what was not quite a question, but in fact, a very interesting challenge: to put my phone away – and go phone-free – for an entire day. It sounds easy, but when you actually start to think about it, you realize, Oh my goodness: is that even possible? I spend a lot of time on Ask Trish encouraging y’all to be more mindful about your device use – and create healthy boundaries around the way that you engage with your phones – so I figured, why not go a step further, and actually set an example by going a whole day phone-free? Like this week’s question-er, I too was honestly curious what the experience would be like – and I figured I’d document it for you all.
That’s exactly what I do this week, briefly re-capping my experience putting my phone away for an entire Saturday. I talk about 1) how I felt, 2) what I ended up doing throughout the day, and 3) what I learned from the experience. All in all, I give going a whole day phone-free a huge thumbs up – and strongly suggest that y’all try it, too. I know it can be hard to do in today’s busy world, but in the coming weeks and months, see if there’s a day where you can put your phone away – and experience life notification-free.
But I’m getting ahead of myself…let’s talk a little bit about my experience.
First and foremost, I tactically chose a day that I knew I could put my phone away – I didn’t have any meetings or calls, and I wasn’t planning to meet any friends that I knew I’d have to text. I was also sure to give my loved ones and close friends a heads-up – this way, they wouldn’t be alarmed or panicked when I didn’t respond to texts. (If you choose to go phone-free for a day, be sure to do this! You don’t want to inadvertently freak anyone out.)
On the day of, I woke up early, got ready, and bid adieu to my phone, which I handed to my mom. Yes, you read that right – I handed it to my mother! Why? I knew that if I hung onto my phone, I’d likely be tempted to check my notifications or respond to texts. By handing it off to my Mom, I made it impossible for me to go back on my commitment. (If you’re not too hot on the idea of giving your phone to a parent, you can always give your phone to a friend.)
Here’s a brief recap of what followed. I documented my emotions and my activities throughout the day. After this recap, I’ll share some of my key learnings and takeaways.
8:30 AM – I honestly feel a little lost without my phone. Normally, one of the first things I do in the morning is check it…and now, I feel a bit unmoored and anxious. To calm my nerves, I’ve decided that I’ll start the day with meditation. The weather is gorgeous today – not too hot, for a change – so I think I’m going to meditate outside.
10:30 AM – That meditation was awesome. I don’t typically have time for it…but it turns out that putting your phone away gives you tons of time back. In that spirit, I also decided to go on a walk around my neighborhood and make a large, fancy breakfast (overnight oats and an omelette – delicious!).
12:30 PM – I feel a lot less anxious, and in fact, quite at ease – and indeed, relieved – to be phone-free. It’s like a weight has been lifted from my chest. I spent the morning reading – again, something that it normally feels like I don’t have time for. It was so nice!
2:30 PM – I just enjoyed a salad for lunch and am now hanging out with my family, watching Breaking Bad. Being around them definitely seems to be boosting my endorphins! I honestly forgot that I’m phone-free…and it feels good.
4:30 PM – I just grabbed coffee in my town and am now doing some shopping. I’m conscious of how much more present I am without my phone. I’ve been much more intentional in my in-person interactions, and I’ve actually made a friend or two, which has been wonderful. I did definitely have a moment of wanting to check my phone, but I pushed past it, and now, the feeling is long gone.
6:30 PM – Dinner time! I hung out with my Mom as she made dinner and caught up with her. It’s been a while since we had some one-on-one time, and it was so nice to chat with her. I’ve realized that being phone-free actually makes me a bit less aware of the time…so I’m much more relaxed and unrushed in my conversations.
8:30 PM – Self-care time! I think I’m going to grab a face mask, make some popcorn, and watch one of my favorite movies (“Clueless,” for those of you who are wondering!). I’m realizing that I’m actually slightly dreading getting my phone back tomorrow…it’s been really, really nice to unplug and unwind. I could definitely do this again.
So, that was my experience! What did I learn from all of that? Well, I really enjoyed being phone-free for a day. Given my busy work and academic schedule, it’s not something I could do regularly, but it’s definitely a practice I’d like to incorporate into my life, if even two or three times a year. Why did I enjoy it so much? It gave me the time and mental space to explore other passions and reconnect with the people in my life. I also found that my life became a bit more vivid when I was phone-free – I was more present, and more in-the-moment. And believe it or not, it was a lot easier than I thought it’d be – sure, there were moments that I felt anxious or really wanted to check my phone, but those moments faded. By the end of the day, I honestly did want my phone – and all of those darn notifications – back.
With that said, I hope that this post inspires y’all to consider going phone-free for a day sometime in the coming months. Find a day that works, and unplug and unwind. It’ll probably be much, much easier than you think – and I bet you’ll enjoy it! Any takers? Of course, as always, I’m also on the hunt for folks that are willing to help keep the #AskTrish conversation going – and share any Internet-related questions or thoughts here. Your musings just might be featured in an upcoming TikTok/blog post! As I often tell y’all, it is truly so easy and quick to fill out the form – and I genuinely love hearing from and being able to help you. So whatever you’re thinking about, don’t hesitate to fill out the form. Oh, and one last thing – when you have a moment, please give my Ask Trish videos some love on TikTok and Insta! Like the videos, hype them up in the comments section, and share them with your friends! Together, we can amplify this incredible #AskTrish community and increase its reach and impact. Thank you a ton in advance for your help.
Wishing you all a great rest of your week,