So I condensed the plan a bit to fit my particular travel and schedule needs so it was more like 15 days rather than 30, but I feel okay about that given that my life has already gradually been moving towards this and I accidentally did a "trial separation" from my phone and all technology during a 48-hour silent retreat in February through Miles Christi (doing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola).
ANYHOO, as part of the plan I'm supposed to look back on my initial note to myself (which is in my Day 2 post from 15 days ago) and write a letter to myself about the experience so going to do that. BUT before I do, here are the final stats:
My Numbers Before Break Up and Post-Break Up
*note that the numbers may, in part, be so skewed because I did the 24-hour trial separation as indicated by the plan this past weekend. The numbers from 2 days before the trial separation might be more accurate, but anyhoo, here we go:
Time spent: 34 min per day versus 1 hour 38 min per day
--> that is A WHOLE HOUR which is a lot--> Social Networking still takes up the most time with 1 h 18 m total out of the 3 h 58 m total (previous was 3 h 37 m total out of the 11 h 27 m weekly total so basically all the time I spent on Social networking is now just how much time I spend on my phone in general and my weekly total is down by like 7.5 HOURS)
Most Used (top 5): Messages (1 h 13 min), Phone (15 m), Maps (15 m), Safari (6 m), Photos (5 m)
--> biggest changes are how much less I spend time on Safari which - to be fair - some of that time has just transferred to my laptop (which I still need to figure out how to make sure I'm using my laptop mindfully, but - in general - I don't think I'm as attached to my laptop as I am my smartphone [I mean, the laptop can't come with me everywhere so...]). Also, FB is no longer on the Most Used because I'm no longer on traditional social media.
Pickups: 27 per day versus 43 per day (that's the difference of me picking up my phone about 3 times per hour versus 1.6 times per hour so that's pretty good!)
Notifications: around 57 per day versus around 56 per day so that hasn't changed but I think I just see less notifications on my phone and it doesn't seem to affect my checking so whatevs. I'm on a lot of group chats so whatcha gonna do?
And now my letter to my self...
Dear Current Self,
Congrats! You did it. You survived a break up with your phone and guess what? It wasn't the end of the world and you now have made up with your phone in such a way that you feel is a much healthier and sustainable relationship.
Now I'm sure it's not going to be smooth sailing from here on out or forever, and that you'll continue to have to reinforce some of the strategies used during your break up, but let's just bask in the fact that it IS possible to have a relationship with your phone that does not feel totally dependent on it in a desperate, needy way.
I used to think my phone always needed to be with me so that I could stay in touch with people or in case there was an emergency, but now I think that, most of the time, I am waiting for notifications that never come because I have an inflated sense of self-importance and also I needed to realize that boundaries are important. And constantly checking my phone keeps me from being truly present in the moment and mindful of what is happening and respectful of the people I am with.
I've learned that my phone doesn't actually need to be in my bedroom and I actually seem to get better sleep now that it's no longer there. A regular old alarm clock has worked wonders. And I've learned that I don't need to check it first thing in the morning where I keep it charged downstairs in the kitchen 'cause guess what? Nothing too major has happened. Thank you bedtime app/function, because now I don't usually check my phone until 30-45 minutes after I've woken up which has let me have a more centered, mindful morning routine of prayer and preparing for my day.
I've learned how strange it can feel to be around people who are phubbing me (phone-snubbing me) when I don't have my phone on me and how much I probably phubbed people without realizing it. I've learned how weird it can be to just make myself focus on the moment or just wait in line and how it's gradually bringing my attention skills back.
I'm happy to know that it is possible to not check my phone 3 times in one hour. I'm happy to know that not having traditional social media (deleted FB, Insta, Twitter, and Goodreads!) is okay and my life goes on and I just continue to keep up with the people I'm closest to. I'm proud of myself for taking the first steps in a more sustainable digital life and I look forward to figuring out how to work through the digital clutter that is my laptop now.
And I'm hopeful that - in 30 days - when I do another check-in to see where I'm at in my relationship with my phone, that I'll be okay. My relationship might not be perfect. Maybe I'll have relapsed a bit in a few ways but that's okay, because no relationship is perfect because I'm not perfect but the most important thing is that I am continually striving to make it better because unfortunately my relationship with my phone and social media was approaching idolatry and at times caused anxiety and I know that the only thing I should worship or cling to is Christ. So thank you, Lord, for making me realize how much I needed to prioritize you and reimagine my relationship with technology.
So there's that. I'll check in re: this again in 30 days. ;)