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Your experiences without your phone??

lovemimoonlovemimoon Posts: 238 Trailblazer
Hiya! I'm not sure this is the right forum for this but here we go:

Quick context:
I had a bit of a falling out with my friends and it was so bad, I couldn't pick up my phone. Every ping, every ring coming from my phone, gave me really bad anxiety attacks. I was reluctant to pick up phone calls for fear that it would be one of them. After some time, I confided in a friend about the situation and he advised that I take a few days off social media to focus on my wellbeing.

Now:
It's been three weeks since I went offline and it's weird. There was a time where I had a breakdown because I couldn't find my phone. The thoughts of even leaving my phone were enough to set my anxiety off. Every time I went out, I would always check my pockets and my bag just to see if my phone was still there. I refused to leave my house until I had my phone ready - I felt naked and exposed without it.
Looking back at it now, it's kinda laughable.

It's been really rough at first - being offline meant I was abandoning everything. Everyone. I was running away once again. But as time went by, I got used to it. The time I spent on my phone, the focus shifted on my mental wellbeing; meditative techniques, experimenting with emotional outlets, journaling and so forth. It was overwhelming but now, I feel great.
Next, I'm planning to go outside with my phone I've been out a few times but I still feel the anxiety. Taking baby steps!

What about you guys?

Comments

  • AislingDMAislingDM Posts: 81 Budding Regular
    This is such an insightful post @lovemimoon! I completely get you - going without your phone at first is sooooo stressful. We're all so used to having it on us 24/7 and of course in some instances phones are awesome like for safety, calling an Uber, talking to friends. But they can also cause untold upset from wasting time to comparing ourselves to others. Phones are so complex tbh.

    It sounds like your friend really cares about you, that was a really wonderful suggestion from him. I'm hearing that your phone, and all that it represents, really was setting off your anxiety badly - I'm sure this was not a nice position for you to be in :(

    I'm glad to hear that you're feeling increasingly comfy without your phone and that you can get some time for things like journaling and meditation -- you deserve to have that time for your wellbeing <3

    Baby steps are so the way to go - I'm the exact same! I'm curious, what is it about leaving the house without your phone that is anxiety-inducing for you? (I hope that doesn't sound patronising, I'm just interested) :)
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon Posts: 238 Trailblazer
    Hi @AislingDM

    Thank you so much! I completely agree! Our relationship with technology is very complex - on one hand, it's very useful and we can get things done quickly. Yet leaving our phone for a couple of minutes feels like we're abandoning everything.

    It's an extremely difficult position to be in but I'm glad I went through it. I'm reconnecting with old hobbies!

    To answer your question - my phone was the only thing that helped me cope with the outside world. All the stresses I've had, random stranger interaction (I don't mind but it gives me the chills sometimes) - my phone was the way that calmed me down. I would listen to music, talk to friends, watch videos on Youtube, and play games. But I believe I developed a very unhealthy dependency on it. Leaving my house without my phone meant being vulnerable to the outside world. :/
    AislingDM
  • JordanJordan Posts: 310 Super Moderator
    Defo agree with @AislingDM that phones are a complex thing! The crazy thing is, as they(and social media!) are a relatively new thing we won't know the full impact they have on our generation for a few years.

    Nice to hear you are reconnecting with old hobbies @lovemimoon. It's nice to hear the time you are not spending on your phone you are using on mental wellbeing and other great things.

    I'll share my perspective! I think phones are one of those things people are 'silently' addicted to. Most people don't realise it but we rely on our phone for a lot, and I know I check it every chance I can get. Since we carry it around with us everywhere and rely on it so much it's with us all throughout the day. I'd check my phone the minute I woke up, and when I went to bed. If I was trying to sleep and I heard my phone buzz part of me just had to answer it else I would feel anxious.

    One piece of advice that I have recently tried to take on board is removing social media apps from our phones and only checking them on desktop computers. I realised I don't need access to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter if I am out and about. I still keep messaging apps on my phone as I use them to communicate but try limit how often I check them.

    Also,when I am studying or working I always mute/silence my phone. I found that the temptation to check it was stil there if it was next to me, so now I silence it and put it in another room. The iPhone has a handy setting when you can schedule app limits and downtime, which I think might also be quite useful!
    lovemimoon
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon Posts: 238 Trailblazer
    Hi, @Jordan

    Thank you for sharing your perspective! I completely relate to what you're saying. It's like your flight or fight instinct comes up as soon as your phone buzzes!
    There was a point where I wouldn't receive notifications or it's a 'slow day' and I got depressed. :#

    Thanks for the advice! I followed through with it and now it's pretty cool!
    I don't have an iPhone but that's a really cool feature! =)
  • Anch0r33Anch0r33 Posts: 915 Part of The Mix Family
    I actually lived a year abroad and for lots of complicated reasons I wasn't able to get a phone - other than a cheap throwaway thing which I gave up with after days. I ended up only using my iPad that I had for school. It didn't have data and you couldn't send texts so I was essentially offline most of the time. This included for many hour long trips in the team bus.

    After this experience it allowed me to not be so glued to my phone - Although I'm glad I have my phone and my unlimited data, I know I'm able to go without it if I wanted to which is comforting.
    👁️👄👁️
    lovemimoon
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon Posts: 238 Trailblazer
    Hey @Anch0r33

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience! =)
    It's cool to see that you found comfort in not being too glued on your phone. You found the perfect balance!
    Anch0r33
  • AislingDMAislingDM Posts: 81 Budding Regular
    It's really wonderful hearing everyone's different experiences with their phones! Like @Anch0r33 your experience of not being online much for a year is very interesting to me. I think it's cool that you can go without it now because as has been said by @lovemimoon and @Jordan phones can be 'addictive' and striking that healthy balance of being able to use it when you'd like but not 'over do it' sounds awesome :)

    And totally @lovemimoon !! I defo feel those same things like especially the music point. It can provide a safety bubble almost where you feel a bit protected from strangers. For me, I do not even realise how little attention I am paying to people around me until I forget my headphones or don't get out my phone because it's raining and will get wet or something! It's pretty awesome that you're exploring your different options though and finding out what works for you. Like it might be that you'd like to have your phone on you for safety but you don't go on it when you're outside OR it could be that you prefer to leave it at home altogether. The only way to know is to give it a go I suppose, which is hard enough as it is, so defo take it at your own pace =)
    lovemimoonAnch0r33
  • _Tech_Addict_Girl_Tech_Addict_Girl Posts: 931 Part of The Mix Family
    I could never live without my phone 😭
  • MaisyMaisy The Mix convert CymruPosts: 346 Moderator
    I've had similar experiences. My internet sometimes goes down (the longest being 3 weeks) or sometimes I just want a break from social media, so I've deactivated accounts, muted notifications or just not turned my phone on. It was hard at first but the longer I went without it, the better I felt and I had more time to spend doing other things :)
    lovemimoon
  • SpaceOtterSpaceOtter Posts: 9 Confirmed not a robot
    I used my phone a lot especially during lockdown, I was constantly on it checking emails for school and then I’d end up doing other things too. Now I’m back at school I try to go a few evenings and the weekends without technology. I’ve been going on long walks with the dog and reading more. Even picked up a new hobby paint by numbers :)
    It’s left me feeling more peaceful.
    lovemimoonAislingDM
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon Posts: 238 Trailblazer
    @SpaceOtter

    Hey! Welcome to the Mix!
    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. <3

    It's really good to see that you're feeling more peaceful1 How's the Paint By Numbers going??
    AislingDM
  • AislingDMAislingDM Posts: 81 Budding Regular
    Hey @SpaceOtter ! Hope you're having some fun here on The Mix!!

    I'd love to hear more about the pain by numbers as @lovemimoon does too! I think it sounds like a really cool way to spend your time. I do wonder, is it frustrating trying to stay in the lines? (maybe you find this easy/it doesn't bother you when you go outside the lines!) <3
    lovemimoon
  • GemmaGemma Posts: 123 Moderator
    I often find a break from your phone or social media very beneficial for your mental wellbeing especially if you find you're using it negatively. I most recently closed my social media because I found myself comparing myself to other people and judging myself harshly for not being something else.

    It's still difficult to do sometimes as the convenience of your phone as a way to pass time can be addictive but I really recommend a break at times also.
    lovemimoon
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon Posts: 238 Trailblazer
    That's a good point, @Gemma - the way we use social media could impact us negatively or positively.

    It's more difficult if you do everything on your phone - reading books, painting apps and so on. So I believe that a big shift of focus from your phone to real life is a shocker.
  • coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 833 Part of The Mix Family
    I deffo agree with that point, that it can impact us negatively or positively.

    I made a well-being instagram and my feed is filled with the most positive and uplifting people. That deffo improves my mood. Also, when I did a digital detox day, I came away feeling that coming off social media can be good, but not my phone altogether as I miss the social contact through messages. So positive connections are a great use of my phone.

    However, my normal instagram feed is less great. Without all the positive people everywhere, I find instagram makes me compare myself more. Can also waste time scrolling, which makes me feel miserable. So it's definitely a pros and cons thing I feel! :heart:
    lovemimoon
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