In 2007 a disrupter entered our world… the hypnotic iPhone. One of the first smartphones on the block, it has completely changed our way of life. We’re carrying what feels like our whole world in our back pocket, constantly. Phone, camera, sat nav, TV, encyclopaedia, social media… the list is endless. There is no other device in recent times which has had societal impact like a smartphone.
Now, 9 years later since launch, a staggering 91% of UK adults aged 18–44 years old have a smartphone. A recent study by mobileinsurance.co.uk found that the ‘average’ Briton spends 90 minutes a day on their phone. To me, that’s shocking to think we spend 23 days a year of our life…staring at a screen. And worse still, a habit that I truly loathe – 80% of users use their smartphone whilst talking to friends. Smartphones have become an unwarranted addiction. Hence, why I implemented a ‘No Phone Sunday’ policy onto myself a year ago.
Before sleeping on a Saturday night, I turn off my iPhone 7 Plus, hide it away in my drawer and do not release it from imprisonment until Monday morning. I can hear you gasp in disbelief at what you may suppose to be self-inflicted harm, but let me paint what truly is a harmonious picture and you’ll discover the treasures that lie in No Phone Sunday.
It’s Sunday morning and I allow my body to wake at its own natural time, not forcefully to the sound of an alarm as required during the working week. Now, I cannot be amongst the astonishing statistic of half of smartphone users who check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up. There’s no possibility of idle time scrolling through Instagram, or checking for any Whatsapp profile picture updates. It’s straight up and out of bed to concur the day.
Once I’m ready and breakfast is done, the day is literally my own. And believe me, there is no other amazing feeling like it. I’m in control of my own time and the day feels incredibly longer. I have no urge to reach for my phone to Google something unnecessary or see if anyone has text me. If I go out, I can’t take any pointless pictures and share them with the world to try and prove my life is just as exciting as the next person. I have time to form my own thoughts and opinions, not simply be a zombie in this output driven world. And for the unlikely possibility of a ‘friend emergency’ that can’t wait till Monday, they know where I live.
No Phone Sunday feels blissful and old-fashioned. Like I’m living in the moment for the moment. I bring this phenomenon up in conversation with friends and colleagues to urge them to try it, as it has literally changed my pace of life. Sundays feel longer and with greater purpose for myself, my brain slows down from being wired to satellites and gives me time to reflect. I’m no longer consumed with recording moments or checking updates but enthused with making my life my own again, not Apple’s.
Then Monday rolls around and I’m the same as everyone else. Phone on, wired up, plugged in and connected again, to this so-called ‘smart’ life.