I've fallen in love with my phone's "Airplane Mode" over the last few months. I turn it on (meaning my phone’s connection is off) overnight and leave it on during my morning meditation and workout. At first I worried about emergencies in the middle of the night. How would people be able to contact me if something was wrong? I quickly realized that anyone who might need to call, regarding a serious problem, had my house line number (yes, I still have a land line). You know how many times someone has called that number in the middle of the night? Zero. Not a one. Nada. Zip. My worrying was unfounded, as usually is the case with worrying.
So what do I like about “Airplane Mode”? There’s a complete freedom that comes from shutting down all outside communication for a few hours. That untethering brings a sense of peace and calm that I don’t believe can be achieved by simply ignoring your phone. “Airplane Mode” is not like switching your phone to silent. Whenever I put my phone on silent, I end up checking it more, afraid that I’m missing some important notification. But with “Airplane Mode” there is no confusion. Nothing is coming in. I can relax and stop wondering what I’m missing.
Lately I’ve been experimenting with using “Airplane Mode” during the day, specifically on weekends. The reduction in stress and anxiety has been noticeable. More importantly, my ability to be present when having a conversation with my wife or when playing with my kids has been a real eye-opener. With no ticking in the background of my mind about what I might be missing on Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, I'm able to give the proper attention to whomever I'm with or whatever I'm doing. Those social media feeds and the email will still be there when I return to the digital world.
Let's get the conversation started on some other ways to "disconnect". What do you like to do? How has it improved your relationships? Leave a comment.