When I was in high school, I remember a friend of mine saying, “if Jess isn’t home, she’s probably in the woods somewhere.” He was right. This was before cell phones, social media, and being “ON” all of the time. Pagers (click here to find out what those are… young people) were popular at the time, but I didn’t have one. It was impossible to find me if I wasn’t near the house phone or someone you could get in touch with… unless you knew my spots and went out into nature to find me. A few people knew where to look for me. Somewhere, while growing up, I lost that amazing part of myself. I miss it.
I find that now that I have a way to be connected all the time, I am. That damn phone is in my hand whenever I have downtime. Like, all the time. It’s making me miserable. I don’t want to have all the answers at my fingertips. I shouldn’t be opening Facebook to see who’s doing what and liking this and… all that crap makes me cry anyway. I’m wasting my day trying to live up to the perception of what everyone else is doing… constantly. There’s no way I can feel like I’m living my own life when I’m kind of living the perfect shots of someone else’s. I love Twitter, but it’s really an eye opener in regards to how people treat each other. We treat each other like poop, in case you were wondering. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t constantly have a stream of information streaming into my brain. Crocheting takes forever as it is, but when you add a distraction like your cell phone, forever gets even longer. It’s making all the cool ideas and dreams that are supposed to be in my brain feel dark and crowded. It’s really not worth having those wonderful things weighed down like that.
A few months ago, I deleted Facebook and Twitter off of my phone. It was awesome. For some reason, I put them back onto my phone a few weeks later. I am so dumb (not really), but I left myself with a window to revert back to my old habits of constantly being on that damn phone… which leads me to The Cell Phones are Crap Creative Challenge… and it’s just for me, because I need to feel good.
The reality check is, I run a business. I do need to be connected in certain ways. Facebook, and Twitter for my own personal amusement really do not fall into that need to be connected. Instead of leaving myself open to return to my habits, I’ve come up with some rules for my cell phone. Because it’s crap, and just a THING, and not living or important.
- Keep Facebook and Twitter off of my phone. They are making my heart hurt. I’m not sure why, but they are. I’m kind of done having my heart hurt. I only want to have a happy heart, filled with only people and places and things that make me smile. I shouldn’t be looking for drama on Facebook to read about. I don’t need that sort of energy in my day. Instead, I’ve filtered out my Facebook and will only be checking it on the computer. Twitter gets the same rules.
- Keep music and Instagram on my phone. I need music playing constantly, or I find the television goes on. That’s usually just as bad as social media. AND REALLY? Do I need to watch 5 consecutive hours of anything? I don’t. I’m not. Instagram is my way of updating my social media sites. As I stated, I do have this business to run. I have to be a little connected, BUT I DON’T HAVE TO SCROLL THROUGH INSTAGRAM THROUGHOUT THE DAY. I’m letting myself scroll through in the morning and after dinner. I do love seeing the work people are doing, and Instagram is the easiest way for me to do that.
- I’m also keeping my email on my phone. I don’t work from my phone when it comes to email anyway and I like to see when people buy my crochet patterns. It’s staying unless it becomes a problem.
- Use my journal for ideas, thoughts, and doodles. That’s what the journal is for. I think I physically/emotionally need that tactile connection and I’m going to run with it. Anything that’s not shareable through Instagram can be transferred to the computer for blogging or whatever.
- I’m keeping my phone out of reach. It has to be close enough to see if the school or Hubs is calling (volume up), but that’s it. I shouldn’t be reachable to most people at all hours of the day and night. I don’t need to google everything about my thyroid or how to keep bees on your 1 acre homestead… instead of working.
- I’m “turning my phone off” once I’m done working for the day. It can stay on for phone calls and text messages, but that’s it… and the quick Instagram scroll after dinner. My workday should have an end. At least an online end. I like to crochet or spin at night sometimes, but the key is I enjoy that. I should be reading and creating and playing cards with these kids, not seeing if so and so had that baby yet; or if blah, blah, blah needs to rant about something that doesn’t even concern me. Priorities. I need to keep them in front of me.
That’s it. I’m just disconnecting certain parts of me from my phone. I’m hoping this is a permanent adjustment to my life. Doing these little tasks to make sure my cup stays full is part of the master plan to be awesome (which directly impacts my ability to create). I feel like I’ve lost more parts of me than I’m comfortable with, and I’d like to see if I can get them back.