Firstly I must admit and come clean that I did not set myself a challenge to see if I could do it, a test of my willpower, but I was forced to do without! So how could I cope without internet access, email, Google, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter…. shall I go on? The key tools that have become my trade, but also my friend. Yes that’s right I said my friend! How utterly bonkers is that? I think anyone who checks their newsfeed more than 5 times a day will be able to relate to this. It turns into a necessity that then becomes essential in every day life and then familiarity kicks in and your facebook feed feels like chatter with old friends. Comfortable, happy and reassuring. I know I’m going off tangent here as you wanted to know what I’ve learned about my no wi-fi time, but let me just add one more note to this: It may feel like natter with old friends but tell me this how many of your FB friends are your FRIENDS? I know how many of my 900+ are, and it’s not many! It’s not that I don’t value the other 850 friends – I do, I really do. But they play a different role to my ‘real-life’ friends.
So after my confession that I did not set myself a challenge but rather we were on holiday where getting reliable wi-fi is like asking your children to play nicely together! It doesn’t happen often! I decided that with some pre-planning and a little help from my wonderful associate Emma (who took the reins at SHC while I was away and did a marvellous job too!) I’d go cold turkey for 7 days and nights and embrace the wi-fi free lifestyle.
My conclusion is that this week has been a very positive and pleasurable experience and the 3 biggest lessons I’ve learned are:
Number 1: There is more to life than facebook! (I’m talking about from a personal perspective of course, you mustn’t neglect FB for your business!) Life carries on in the real world – the here & now. So what would you rather spend your time doing, being in the moment right now or having your head stuck in your iphone?
Number 2: My emotional health and wellbeing is more important. When my ‘screen time’ was taken away I did wonder what I’d do with myself! Well it didn’t take me long to make myself a list of all the things I wanted to do and I thoroughly enjoyed ticking each and everyone one off the list. They included: reading (& finishing) a book; going to bed before 10pm; waking up when my body was ready for the day (this ended up being 9am. I got bored!); having a glass of wine in the bath; allowing myself time to think & reflect free from stresses; enjoy a leisurely lunch (instead of eating a sandwich in 2 minutes in front of my laptop); do nothing (without guilt); sit on the beach and watch the waves… for ages.
Number 3: My children and my family are more important. Sorry if this seems very obvious but it it still needs to be said. This evening I saw a family of 3 generations all sat around a table together but all individually engrossed in their ipads and iphones. No conversation, no eye contact, no affection, no laughter. Each family member from the children to the grandparents might as well have been sat alone with just their device for company. So without the distractions of the web and my work I’ve spent quality time (yes I know its a cliche but it’s true!) with my daughter and my son. We’ve played card games for hours; dug big holes on the beach and buried our feet in the sand; played with toy animals in the bath until the children’s fingers went wrinkly. And the best bit of all… watching my children run in and out of the waves again and again with squeals of laughter!