Yesterday, my husband left his phone in a friend’s car by mistake. For about 18 hours, we were unable to communicate by phone. Since I was out of town visiting my parents with the kids, I was helpless in his misfortune. Without a land line to fall back on, we tried to use email and a so-so Wi-Fi connection to exchange messages not very successfully.
This led me to seriously consider: how reliant are we on all forms of communication? Could you go off to a place (desert island perhaps) and not have any way to communicate with others for a few days?
The website www.howtogetfocused.com asks readers “Why would anyone ditch their cell phone?” They offer up some astonishing, yet quite believable evidence of how we are over exposed to communication on a daily basis. Their research states that “(I)n 1971, the average American saw 560 advertisements per day.” Fast forward 40 plus years and now “we see around 3,000 advertisements per day…(and) encounter around 5,000 distractions by constantly checking messages from phones, emails, IM’s, wall posts, tweets and more.”
If you are feeling over saturated with electronics and outside communication, I challenge you to turn all of it off for a few days. I do recommend scheduling this period of electronic silence, as my husband and I can tell you an unplanned lapse in service is not fun. We have both taken ourselves “off the grid” per se when taking a much needed couples only vacation, but do glance to see if emergencies flare up just in case.
The days that we do take a break are extraordinary. Our brains are relaxed as well as our bodies, and we get back to enjoying each other in face-to-face interactions instead of the hurried email, text and voice message. If you do it right, no phone for a few days can definitely equal no worries.