Friday, April 15, 2016

How I met celebrities, just by turning off my cell phone for a few hours!!!

In many of our day to day lives we have grown accustomed to using technology in some form or another, constantly. Whether it's for GPS, texting, phone calls, internet, music, social media, you name it. People are looking down way more than they are up and it made me wonder what I was missing in the real word. So I did a mini experiment to see what is going on in the world beyond when I unplug.

A couple days ago I woke up determined to keep my phone turned off for at least a few hours. I wanted to actually be in there here and now, because I am completely guilty of falling prisoner to the technological advances of our time. I didn't think I could necessarily handle a long term deal, but I wanted to at least test it out. So I checked my morning messages, texted my family that I'd be incommunicado for a few hours, and proceeded to disconnect. My cell phone, computer, TV, iPad, everything was off. I packed a backpack full of snacks and told my son we were going to live without technology for a little bit while we go explore. He's always up for an adventure so he packed a few toys, just in case, and off we went. 


Our first stop was of course one of our favorite hideaways, Barnes and Nobles. Our peaceful euphoria filled with the sweet smell of literature and mental pictures. We walked around every single aisle and picked out books we thought would be interesting. After filling my arms with heavy reading material, we sat down in the children's area and began to further investigate each book. As were sitting there I begin to think about my phone. I was even getting a mild anxiety attack, because I just kept playing scenarios in my head where I may need it. It upset me even more that I was panicking over an electronic device. If an emergency happened I would deal with it then, but we were alive and fine.

I began realizing subtle things I feel I've taken for granted. Like the way my son exhibits tiny mannerisms that are unique to his personality. He makes certain hand gestures with each specific feeling and uses faces to physically explain his different levels of happiness. I've always noticed his silliness, but I sincerely feel as if being so attached to my devices I have missed out on the advances in his personality. It's been about an hour at this point.

After we picked out a few special books and a Dumbledore Funko-Pop for our bookcase, we headed out to Ikea. I needed to pick up some new silverware and a small bottle for a homemade vinaigrette I was making. When we arrived, I sincerely felt like I was experiencing it in a different light. Without checking my phone every few minutes to read texts or see what other shopping items I needed, it was as if the store itself was almost new. I noticed the differences in how they rearranged certain items, how the people around me were going about their days just fine without technology at their hips, and how I was actually enjoying the freedom. My son has always been inquisitive and I feel as if though I haven't done a good enough job of actually listening to everything he has to say. I feel horrible at this point, which only leads me to go longer without my cell phone. I started asking my son questions and getting more involved in the conversations instead of just ending things at the answer of his questions. I actually learned more about myself and him in the two hours that have gone by without a screen to peak at. My son decides he wants to go to Costco across the parking lot, for samples. That's my boy!


We make our way through the maze of Ikea and walk over to the beloved Costco. Home of endless samples. Walking in was nothing new, as going to Costco I've never been big on staring at my phone, mostly because I'm afraid of missing samples. One time I was waiting for a sample of Chicken Salad and the moment I checked my phone to answer a text, the samples were laid out and a lady took 4 pieces. I ended up waiting for the next batch and vowed to never check my phone again. As were eating a sample of Nutella I feel amazing that I'm not off running to the next sample place. I'm not hurrying to get out of the store to check my phone. I'm just enjoying the day and strike up a conversation with the lady handing out samples. She tells me that celebrities were in the Costco at that very moment doing autographs. Of course being the nosy momma I am, I asked "ooo who?!" The moment that lady said "The Property Brothers. They're by the tents." I RAN!!!!!

I have been obsessed with the Property Brothers since God knows when. They inspire me so much with their handy work and how they show that a diamond in the rough is truly obtainable regardless the initial look. The way they input each couples style without looking overbearing or gaudy, is mind blowing. As soon as I landed in the tent department, I saw them. My heart was beating a million miles an hour and my son says "Mommy look! The guys who make the cool houses!" I can't even begin to tell you how hard I laughed. My 4 year old son knows me better than anyone in this world and it makes me so proud. At the same time I realize that this whole time, even while I was checking my phone or being on the computer, he was still watching me. I wasn't discreet about it at all. He had watched me answer him without looking at him and really showing that I cared more about him than what happened on Instagram. 

We ended our day at Sonic's for a delicious burger and shake. That's when it really, truly, hit me. This experiment was not only a success, but a huge eye opener. If I hadn't had my phone off, I'd still be in the house with my son. I would have never talked to the Nutella lady. I would have never come in the tent area (no samples). I would've never stood in line and gotten a picture with them, followed by autographs (which we did. HUGE score for us!) This generation is so fixated on what's going on in the online world, that we often miss opportunities we'd truly enjoy in the real world. Our children are receive half answers, because they aren't being concentrated on. Sometimes the questions they ask aren't just because they want answers, but because they want interaction and conversation. I felt horrible in how I was going on in life and I didn't want any technological piece of equipment to replace the genuine interactions I so lovingly have with my son. He's growing up so fast and soon he will be in school. This alone breaks my heart, because I will miss him every minute we aren't together.

I ended up keeping my phone off for a little over 4 hours. With my anxiety playing mind games and my slight addiction to checking my screen every few minutes, I think I did pretty good. In hindsight of this mini experiment, I've realized a lot about myself, my son, and what I've truly been missing. Which leads me to a bigger experiment. This entire weekend, I'm going technology free. No iPad, no TV, no phone, no computer. I will have a separate camera (not my phone) to take pictures of our adventures. I want this to be about living in the real world not online, and while I do enjoy blogging, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, ect. It isn't my family and it doesn't need me. So if you don't see me active this weekend, don't worry I'm fine. I'm just out exploring free from my personal electronic prison!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and don't forget to subscribe to my blog with your email! I'll be posting the results on Monday, plus another "Anxiety Challenge" on Wednesday.

Always remember to keep on rocking life! 

Love,
The White Rocking Chair

2 comments:

  1. I need to do this! I need to just unplug for a little while... When did life start to revolve around technology? I feel like I wake up and I automatically reach for my phone or tablet to check-in and see what i missed through the night while I was sleeping.... any tips?

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  2. We've all become so fascinated by the technological advances, we just can't help it. I definitely notice a huge difference after unplugging just for those two days. I will be honest with you, it can be extremely difficult, and you will start to create ideas on what to do online or what to check out. Ignore them and busy yourself with some other activities. Go for a picnic, exercise, go to a book shop and read, write, draw, go for a drive to a new place, do arts and crafts, create diy's, do blog drafts, etc. For me, I love the beach, picnics, reading, and art, so we would all of those to fill in any extra time. You become creative, that's for sure.

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