I am now just returning from a month sabbatical. This allowed me to reflect and spend time with friends and family.
As part of that month off, I did a two week intensive retreat where they sequestered my phone. No email, phone, books, music, or videos for a fortnight!
Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy at first. In the beginning I was jonesing for my iPhone. But after about 4 or 5 days, I forgot about it completely.
In fact, I liked being disconnected so much, I am attempting to stay less connected all of the time.
Try this for yourself. Can you go two weeks without ANY electronic communications? None. Nada. Zippo. No FaceBook. No text messages. No email. No twitter. No phone calls. No TV, radio, videos, or even newspapers. Basically cut off from the outside world, unless you can see someone in person.
How would you have to design your life in order to do this? Maybe going cold turkey would be too difficult. How could you reduce your dependence on your phone and computer?
Trust me, there is a freedom in disconnecting. It allowed me to really be connected to those around me. More importantly, it allowed me to reconnect with me. It is truly an awesome experience.
To keep the general idea alive, I am having critical emails and phone calls forwarded to someone who is connected all of the time. I am only checking my emails 2 or 3 times a day (morning, midday, and later afternoon).
I am trying to be present to my surroundings rather than having my head buried in my phone. In doing so I feel lighter, more aware, more creative, and freer. It quiets the mind, after you get over the initial withdrawal symptoms.
Give it a try. Try disconnecting and enjoy being truly connected.