Everybody needs a holiday from time to time and no better time to heed that message than when there is an official public holiday, like today, this Fourth of July holiday in the US. Celebrating independence is a wonderful thing to do and America does it well with family cook outs and fireworks all over the place.
This got me thinking about holidays without cell phones. I remember plenty, though it is not a memory that you will have, teen girls, and you probably can’t even imagine, right?
Bear with and think about it—the benefits you could have.
Nicola Morgan, guest on our podcast: Episode 12: Your Online Wellbeing Inside Out says that if we spend enough time doing the things that serve us both mentally and physically—spending time with family and friends, reading, daydreaming, sleeping, checking out culture near and far and so on—then we would have less time to squander on social media, on our phones.
What a great idea for a holiday. Imagine keeping it in the family, local! I must be joking, right? After all, you might be reading this blog on your phone. So, an entire day off the phone might be more than a reasonable request, however, what about stashing it away in a room or in your handbag, which is stashed away in a room, during the barbecue, the fireworks.
This small act could do wonders for your brain. I know; I have tried it. Never mind the great photos and selfies you could get on your smartphone. Ask one of the adults in your family for a good ole camera! They will have one somewhere.
Last Fourth of July I was actually in the US and noticed smartphones draped around the room, at the table, everywhere, and in between bites and conversation, people glancing at theirs. That’s when I suggested heeding two of Nicola’s top tips. 1) Put away your phone at mealtimes, even a coffee with a friend, 2) Ban during conversations. Don’t even glance. Gulp! And the third is switch off and put out of sight 1.5 hours before bedtime. This is the tip that has served me really well over the last couple of years.
Anyhow, back to the first two tips, not so easy said my niece, Nikki, who uses her phone for everything and she is not even a teen girl, but she did pledge to give it a go, start putting the phone away for thirty minutes at a time. So, mon cherie (I am in France this holiday) how is it going?
As for me, I continue to make progress. Can’t say I have had an entire day without my beloved phone. After all it is my camera but it stays in my sac a main (handbag) or wherever it is during meals and conversations, except for when I need to take a photo of the cuisine. And if I am honest with myself, these tips have served me really well and those around me, too.
It’s all about striking the right balance and getting a much deserved holiday. For more tips on online wellbeing, listen to our special episode on our website, iTunes or where ever you listen to podcasts. Stay tuned!