In September I had two weeks holiday. On the first day of my break I switched my phone onto airplane mode, and left it on that setting for the whole two weeks. (Give or take checking on Andy Murray’s marvellous progress in the US Open). No calls, no work email, no personal email, no Twitter, no Facebook, no blog, no Pinterest, no texts, no IM, no Skype. Nothing. Just silence.
It helped that we spent the first 4 days in Orkney, which has hardly any mobile signal anyway, and has the feeling of somewhere where you really shouldn’t be spending all your time with your nose in a smartphone. And the second half of our holiday was in the Cairngorms, where I spent as much time as possible outside, walking and biking. So gadget time wasn’t a priority.
The silence helped me to restore my batteries and completely relax. It also helped me to pay more attention to my husband – who often complains that I’m not listening because I’m too busy tweeting, reading blogs, etc etc. He doesn’t seem to buy the ‘but I’m a woman and I am multitasking’ argument.
What I have found strange is that since I’ve got back, I’ve actually found it a bit difficult to get back online again. And I’ve even found myself dragging my heels to get back in touch with friends on the phone. I’m not sure why exactly. I love my friends. Some of it is to do with adjusting back to work and a long commute. Maybe its normal to need some silence for a period of time. I’m pretty social and extrovert, so it is a surprise to me.
(This isn’t an anti social media post. Twitter in particular has led to me making some wonderful friendships and has helped me to meet some incredible people within my field of work. And Facebook is important in helping me keep connected with all my far flung friends).
How do you manage to cope with all this stuff? Do you ever have periods of silence?