I had an unexpected unplugged weekend recently. I was on my way home from work on a Friday and halfway home I realized I’d left my phone at work. I didn’t have time to go back because I had to pick up my son from school and definitely didn’t want to go back with him in tow. I had my watch, which can also make and receive text messages and calls, but it was almost out of power and I’d left it’s charger at my work desk. I took it as a sign the universe was trying to tell me something and let it be. I used what little power I had left on my watch to send a text to my mom telling her I’d be off the grid for the weekend and to call my husband’s phone for any emergent needs.
The first hour was strange. I kept lifting my arm up to check the time or the weather but only saw my bare wrist as feedback. As the evening wore on, I lifted my arm less and less. That night I went to bed without checking little last things on my phone—the weather, Amazon for whatever I forgot to order that week, my Scrabble boards with my ongoing opponents, etc. Saturday morning was great—I had no idea what time I woke up but the sun was beaming through the windows. I didn’t check my phone right away to see what email had come in while I was asleep. My wrist wasn’t pinging every other minute with messages or alerts. I made a hot cup of tea and sat down for breakfast with my son who was watching his latest favorite show on the iPad, at which point I remembered: I can send messages on my iPad! But, did I really need to? Was I really going to miss telling someone something that couldn’t wait until Monday? I quieted the urge and forgot about it. Besides, I wasn’t up for the fight of wrestling the iPad away from my son.
Sunday morning was even better but the afternoon was a little hard. I usually “watch” football games with my brother via text messages—he lives across the country from me in our hometown. As I was watching the last of the NFL playoff games I was wanting to grab my phone and comment on the plays but remembered I could not. I had to watch in silence with my thoughts and my husband’s commentary—good enough, but not quite the same. Sunday night came along and I realized I’d made it the entire weekend without access to my phone. I’d be interested to see what that award looked like—a new phone?!?
When I finally got back to work Monday morning to my phone I saw that I’d missed–wait for it–nothing. Absolutely nothing. A few text messages from my brother on Sunday about the games, a few from some other people that were not life-changing, some Instagram likes on some photos I’d posted the prior week—all the usual stuff that is pertinent at the time but not important enough for me to have a mental breakdown about not having access to my phone for two and a half days. I enjoyed being unplugged for a couple of days; the constant reminder that something is happening is something I can well do without every now and then. I think I will now have regularly-planned unplugged weekends where I put on my old-school watch that only tells time and use my phone only for true emergencies. I’m already looking forward to it.
Do you think you would be able to “survive” an unplugged weekend? Would you want to? Have you already?