It is crazy out there.
People are on the phones all the time. Glued to them like to life support system they can’t live without.
There was a question on my Facebook Newsfeed a few days ago: “What can you live without?”
I thought to myself, I certainly could live without my phone. At least for a while.
My phone is for my convenience. It’s not my life support. It’s not an essential part of happy healthy living for me. Although it makes life so much more convenient. Mostly because we can get information, any kind of information, anywhere in the world, as long as we are in a place where we can get an internet connection — almost anywhere in the world these days. Getting connected gets easier and cheaper daily.
Worldwide connectivity makes life convenient, it seems. Better. It allows us to make better, more informed decisions. Or at least, makes us think so.
From my experience — the best things, offers, opportunities, people, situations will enter our life without us doing anything consciously. Best offers are somehow always the ones that are the closest. Best opportunities present themselves without announcement and research. Most important people in our life appear without us looking for them, asking for them, expecting them, waiting for them.
Funny how life works. Funny. Magical. Beautiful.
It’s the same with diet and exercise programs. We might believe, we get more informed about healthy eating, healthy living. We get smarter. We get more in control of our health, fitness, well-being. And yet the best diet, exercise program, well-being routine for anyone is the one that just feels right for some reason. We usually stumble upon it experimenting, trying things. For the heck of it. Accidentlly. Not really looking for it. Expecting it.
Following dietary theories, exercise programs without listening to our bodies, our gut feeling, made us as a society the sickest we’ve been.
Back to smartphones…or just phones.
I am so freaking scared sometimes to open my phone, because, if you don’t look at it for a few hours — that is normal for me, it feels like the world is collapsing! People send you messages one after another, call you, send you emails asking you where you were, what happened, because for some “weird” reason they couldn’t reach you anywhere! For a few hours.
Now it happens less often. People who know me, got used to the fact. Still a shocking fact though, for new people I meet.
I call people, if there is something urgent to discuss, or I want to set up a meeting to do something, or just have fun in real time face to face.
The rest of the time I’m too busy living. Answering my phone is not my job. I haven’t signed up for that.
I haven’t signed up for being online, connected 24/7.
When I look around, it feels like people are being controlled by their phones. Phone is not a piece of tech to serve them, to be there for them when they need it. Phone and other connectivity gadgets control people’s lives, add anxiety, things to do, to answer, to worry about. Phone controls people’s schedule, their mindset, their focus, their mood. And worst of all — we don’t realize it’s happening. We think it’s normal, healthy and helps us to live a better life, do more things, be more efficient, happier, more social and important, more fulfilled.
Quite the opposite. We realize that, when we stop. Disconnect. Look at our crazy life with a fresh disconnected look.
I wonder, if there is a course to teach people how to use connectivity gadgets? Maybe I should teach one?
“Learn to use your phone. Don’t be used by it!”
It’s scary for me to walk on the streets sometimes. People don’t see where they go anymore. People look at the screens of different devices. At least drivers look at the road still! That’s a relief. I hope so.
I read somewhere, they are coming up with some technology to help us navigate through the streets without actually looking anywhere, being able to be glued to the screen of whatever device we are carrying and carry on walking.
More and more it all starts resembling matrix for me.
I’m not against technology or science. I love it! I’m a geek.
But I do think we need to learn how to use technology properly to enhance quality of our life, not to decrease it, causing more and more stress and anxiety, making life more and more complex.
The true meaning, purpose of technology is to make life simple, more efficient, more enjoyable, more fun. Not more complex, with more things to do and much less things to enjoy and savor, have fun with.
After meeting another “glued-to-the-screen” friend of mine a few days ago, I decided to come up with a manual to help people enhance, improve the quality of life with connectivity devices.
So here is my “Mobile Phone User Manual for Homo Connected”, to learn how to use connectivity devices properly, to enhance the quality of your life instead of allowing the technology to steal your life from you.
I will use the word phone here as a substitution for all the names for devices that allow us to stay connected.
Phone is for our convenience, not to control our life.
Use your phone, when you need it. Need to make a call, need to check your email, because you need to send something or receive something this very moment. Don’t use it at other times, just because you have a spare minute.
Set a schedule to check your email, your social media, your whatsapp messages, your voice mail etc.
Check it. Reply to anything that needs your attention. Don’t chat. Get to the point. If there is something that needs to be done — call, set up a meeting, send an email answering all the questions, covering all the options.
Ideally set a limit for checking everything and dealing with all the issues, and then put it away for the next connectivity session.
Don’t stay connected all the time! Stick to your schedule, no matter how hard it might seem. At first, 2–3 times a day — it is more than enough for most of us, unless you are on a rescue team, or a heart surgeon, and REALLY need to stay connected and be able to receive calls and messages for certain period of time. There are exceptions. But not so many.
When you use your device and do not need to stay connected — reading or listening to a book, studying something, working on something — turn on “flight mode” to receive no connection. That will give you much more focus. You will accomplish everything much faster with no distractions.
If you do need to do some research, while studying or working on something, just log off everything, use some browser anonymously, so you don’t get any messages, calls, chats, invitations.
Get everything done and connect again, when you need to.
Caution: be prepared to be announced missing, because nobody all of a sudden could reach you.
My mom recently, after a few weeks of using a smartphone, that we got her for her birthday with my sister, got used to being able to reach me all the time, even though we are in different countries.
One day, as usual, I switched off my phone, was having a day off. My mom almost started an international police search looking for me!
Lesson learned — next time I need to inform at least her.
So, yeah, inform some key people about your “unavailable times” — the rest can wait.
When you are on the phone, messaging, sending emails, anything of that sort, unless your goal is to chat for unlimited amount of time — that can be fun sometimes too — get to the point as fast as you can, otherwise people will chat with you for…seems like forever, not getting to the point.
Say what you need to say in one message, giving the most options, so a person on the other end could get to their point as soon as possible too.
Always try to be clear of the intention of your chat, conversation, interaction. At least with yourself. Otherwise, it most probably, will take much more of your time than it should have, and most probably nothing will get done.
Get to the point. Say what you need to say. Ask what you need to ask. Get it done. Set up a meeting.
Get busy living and doing what REALLY needs to be done.
Answering messages, comments, emails, updating your status is not THE purpose of your life, is it? And do you HONESTLY have fun doing that? All day long?
What did YOU do today?
Somebody might ask…
I was chatting on my phone most of the day, (Usually they’d say, “I was busy”).
Somebody might answer…
Is that how you want to spend your days???
No wonder life feels blend, unexcited and meaningless.
The most popular activity is chatting on the phone these days. What’s so exciting about that???
I don’t get it.
Last but not Least.
If you don’t want to switch off your phone completely, or turn on “flight mode”, don’t set it on vibration either. Just put it away, turn off ALL the sounds. So you can’t hear anything, nothing at all, when you get the messages or calls.
Otherwise you’ll still get distracted, and your mind will get more and more anxious and worried about things, things you are “missing out”.
Mobile Phone User Manual for Homo Connected.
Read it. Love it. Share it.
Do you have anything else to add to the list?
I’d love to hear your tricks to stay connected in a smart way. Making your life better, NOT worse.
Or just let me know, what you think. I’d love to learn something from you. Hear your story. Know what’s on your mind today.