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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 Chief of Staff to the EMEA President at ServiceNow. Before that, she held global and EMEA-wide positions at Cisco and HubSpot. She is also certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

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