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No Phone, no Laptop, no Facebook for a Week – Can You Survive?

[fa icon="calendar"] 25-May-2012 17:45:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

Today many of us are addicted to constantly being available and reachable, mobile or online.

I admit I can’t live without my laptop, phone and the Internet, I feel naked without them, I absolutely get frustrated and angry and start wondering what’s going on on the net without me and what I’m missing – an important mail or a fun message.

Does that sound familiar? Come on, admit it, I bet it does! How long do you think you could survive without your so beloved laptop or phone?  I'll tell you how long I made it – one and a half days. That’s all.  

Last week I went for a brief holiday back to Germany to visit my friends and to relax a little bit, because the past few months were extremely stressful and I certainly needed a break. Of course, I also missed my girls a lot, who I haven’t seen for almost a year! As much as I enjoyed my stay, I had a sort of a rough beginning.

I landed and I turned my phone on only to discover that I cannot use it abroad (long story why…)! Can you imagine?!? I was absolutely unreachable, unavailable, impossible to find! And the worst was, I couldn’t reach anyone – I couldn’t even let my friends know where to pick me up! I did end up using the phones at the airport for that, but for the next day, which was a bank holiday, I had absolutely no connection with anyone, so I had to basically be ‘glued’ to my friends in order not to get lost! I didn’t show it, but I was mad, I was absolutely going crazy! I didn’t even have my laptop with me, so I had to use my friends’ ones to at least check my e-mail. However, when I wanted to go on Facebook I couldn’t because my privacy settings don’t allow me to log on to new devices without entering the code that I am supposed to receive as a text on my phone. But my phone couldn’t receive any messages! I was desperate – no phone, no Facebook, no laptop.

After the first moments of frustration passed by I thought this was a good thing, a true opportunity to completely relax. This feeling only lasted a few minutes. On the next day I bought myself a new German SIM-card and I was finally reachable and I could also log into Facebook from my phone. I can’t tell you how happy and relieved I was because now I felt secure, I knew that if something happened I could call or text my friends or even send them a message through Facebook (which is actually the primary function I use it for to be honest). 

In the end, can you imagine a life with no phones, no laptops, no Internet, no Facebook? I can’t, sadly or not, I really can’t. But the truth is we are not dependent on our devices. We choose to be. The global internet user spends on average 16 hours per month online, 22% of which is spent on social networking. People spend 2 hours a day on their mobile devices – that’s 60 hours per month! How long you stay online and what you do there is after all your own choice (most of the times).

However, do choose to take a break from time to time! Get your mind refocused by doing something else and get away from technology for a while – go for a walk for example, get some fresh air, enjoy the sun, have coffee with friends, read a book if you want (not an e-book, but a print version!); just clear your mind and you’ll be way more relaxed and ready to get back to work with full strength. Breaks do help. Even though I had mobile connection again and was able to go online from time to time during my holiday I still didn’t do so as often as I do at home. The end result – I came back with way more energy and a big, happy smile on my face. The conclusion – don’t forget to take that vital break when you need it! 

 

How long could you make it without a phone or laptop?  Do you have any interesting experiences you can share?

Topics: General

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is the Success Programs Manager for the Netherlands at Cisco where she drives programmatic efforts for product adoption. In her previous roles at HubSpot, she led major cross-functional change for the global Partner Program with her detail-oriented approach to project management and advised hundreds of agencies on how to transform their businesses with inbound and digital. During that time, she earned the globally recognised Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification by the PMI. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or traveling the world.

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