Imagine if your phone was a real person. The chances are it would drive all your other friends away. Your pals would just feel sorry for you, dwelling in the shadow of your cruel and arrogant mobile.
Let's face it: your phone is a needy and pushy egotist. It's rude. It has no respect for anything except itself (update me now!) and is a tyrant when it comes to attention, sucking energy and dominating any conversation.
We advise the daily imprisoning of your mobile. Ideally in a drawer so that you can evolve into the gap it briefly leaves behind.
Yet we all tolerate our phones. In fact that's wrong: we are all obsessed with our phones. We think they're great. We stroke them in the morning when we wake. We fret over them all day, often checking them in case we've "missed" a message that would remain there anyway. And they're the last thing we look at, often instead of our loved ones, before we fall asleep.
This is because they bring seemingly gratifying experiences such as gossip, entertainment and convenience. They've also become the dominant method for operating within society. Yet even with such distractions our phones have become sometimes unbearable.
Trigg is here to help.
We've got into the habit of rejecting our phones after work. And we'd love for you, even if just for one day, to adopt the same path. Lock your mobile in a drawer for two hours and then be mindful of the changes it may import into your life.
Here are 10 ways our lives improved by instituting a phone free evening.
1) You'll experience holiday sensations everyday.
The moment your phone vanishes, then your working day will wither and die on the spot. You'll transition into a new mental state. Can you remember the last time you felt that wave of completely unplugging from the working world? Many people only achieve this when frantically heading off on their ANNUAL holiday. Maybe you experience this too? ... when you finish ALL your work then you set your autoresponder to say you're no longer available. Then what happens? Normally an intense wave of relief and euphoria hits you.
Why not enjoy this sensation every single day by ditching your digital shackles just for a short while?
2) You'll be completely engaged with your loved ones.
Do you ever come home and feel like you're ignoring your lover, flatmate, sibling, parent or child? They obviously deserve better than you wandering into your home distracted and dragging the corpse of a working day behind you.
So don't fail to give them the respect they're due. Go and hide the world's most distracting device in your junk drawer, then rebalance your life with their achievements and energy. Great moments will follow. And you'll feel refreshed for not having to keep checking your needy, bossy handset.
3) Your evening will chart a more interesting and varied path.
Expect to suddenly find time for various tasks you've been procrastinating over for months. Prepare to learn more, be more active and adopt a different format of reading or listening. Your dinners may even evolve in taste or location. Or you'll share the task of cooking with others instead of scanning social media and half-living in the present.
4) You'll experience less anxiety.
The link between stress and mobiles is well documented. Anxiety and depression can be borne out of excessive phone use. Whilst "nomophobia", or the fear of being out of mobile contact, is now a recognised phobia. It's worse for teenagers too. They have a whole different set of unsettled social currents and status issues to navigate online after dark. So give yourself a break, your phone will be exactly where you think it is later on.
5) It'll save your neck. In both senses of the word.
How can an evening spent staring into an even smaller screen than the one back at the office be healthy? Americans spend 4.7 hours per day fiddling with their phones. And this statistic is rising fast. Imagine the impact on your mind, eyesight, concentration span, physical health and posture if you cut this figure in half and did something different instead? The world was very different before we inherited these powerful handheld computers and we've lost some valuable facets of our behaviour patterns.
6) That ongoing mountain of work will improve.
Everyone works too hard. There is no escaping this fact. So if you do have to continue working at night then you're battling a whole new set of distractions. Suddenly all the world needs to use their phone even more than when at work.
Research shows that increased mobile phone use reflects lower grades at school as well. So do yourself a favour and block the torrent of calls, texts, bleeps, posts and updates. You'll produce better results, and you'll create these improved results faster. You can then enjoy a meaningful activity just for yourself.
7) Your music and cultural diet will change.
Mobile phones simply love all new, shiny worlds. If you stream music through an app then the chances are you're listening to a succession of brand new, transient tunes. This is incredible, however too much of a good thing can be too much.
By resting your phone we can interact with older formats such as CDs, radio or the lush and devoted task of playing sides of vinyl. This shifts the emphasis onto older, more curated or filtered music which in turn triggers new experiences, nostalgia or new discoveries and expanded knowledge.
8) Your knowledge will shift and evolve.
Smartphones have, without doubt, increased our awareness of the world. But is this information of a high enough quality? Our (seemingly) carefully curated lists of friend updates, news sources, culture tips or RSS feeds quickly stagnate. This procession of data soon jades through repetition and at ALL times remains at the mercy of being stricken with agendas from others.
We are what we eat. Thus, reading classic books, enjoying face to face dialogue or digesting great films or podcasts will all inject your cultural diet with much needed new ingredients.
9) You will sleep better
Your phone screen is dangerously advanced when it comes to filtering light. It has evolved to send a spectrum of blue light into your retina that wakes you up. Clinical psychologist and sleep therapist, Dr. Michael J. Breus explains. “There are about 30,000 cells inside your eye that are reactive to the wavelength of light which would be considered blue. Blue runs in about the 460 nanometer range, in terms of the spectrum of light. That particular spectrum of light hits these cells and makes them send a signal to an area of the brain known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus and tells it to turn off melatonin production. Melatonin is the key that starts the engine for sleep.” If you find this worrying then you can read more HERE
10) Incarcerating your phone can trigger keystone habits.
A keystone habit is a new behaviour pattern that acts as the foundation for widespread change. Habits interlink. And our brains are always subconsciously looking for ways to simplify our life.
By creating a phone free zone, even if its only for two hours a day, you will construct a pillar that many vivid new actions can be built upon. These could be related to health, a new hobby or working towards changing career. Perhaps you need to transform an unsavoury yet apparently permanent element of your life? There's an abundance of ways keystone habits alter the flow of your life, the trick is allowing them to settle into the landscape of your days.
Words by Matthew Bennett
Illustration by Bree Colee