Unplugged: What it Means to Be Bored

Now that I have been without social media for a few years and as of recently, I have also gone without a mobile phone, people are always asking me questions. I find it a telling sign of addiction when people cannot imagine a life without social media or a mobile phone. For this article, let’s tackle boredom when you have unplugged.

I think it may be safe to assume that many of us do not fancy being bored.

In this digital age, boredom is a rare occasion when your boredom can instantly be quenched by social media.

A ready-made, cooked-to-order boredom killer is at your fingertips. What is my issue with such a fierce and effective boredom killer? I believe boredom can be beneficial to our mental well-being. It is the way we first learn to meditate or create as it enhances the use of our imagination and feeds into our thirst for curiosity.

Since not having a ready-made boredom killer, I find that my boredom turns into productivity and creativity.

I have taken up different hobbies and meet people the old-fashioned way by walking up to them and holding a conversation. When I am bored, I use it as a time to meditate or read. Most often, I simply use boredom to fuel my curiosity. Recently, I began birdwatching because I was really bored one day at home and I heard a very long and seemingly intricate birdsong. Boredom caused me to be really curious as to where the birdsong was coming from. Since that fateful bored day, I have invested in a thrifted bird book, binoculars, and walking trails. Not advertising boredom as a weigh loss supplement here, but I also lost weight from all the walking around.

If you do not want to fully disconnect but would like to be more creative or productive, give boredom a try. Schedule a day or a chunk of time where you will not be connected to social media or your phone. When boredom arises, take the challenge to not engage in social media, instead, remain in your boredom and see where it takes you.

Peace and Love.

Going Without a Mobile Phone in 2017

A few days into the New Year of 2017, I decided it was time to ditch my mobile phone device, my smartphone. This was not my first time thinking about the idea of being phoneless. For a while in 2015 and 2016, I played with the idea of going backwards in time and getting a flip-phone.
At any rate, I decided that today was good as good as any. I guess I did have some middle ground I could rest upon, Google Voice. Before totally giving up my mobile phone, I set up a google voice number for instances where it seemed almost dire. (Use your own discretion as to what is deemed dire. Dire in my case was needing a number for potential clients could call and leave messages for me. )
How to Go Without a Mobile Phone?
Step #1: Open up and Tell People
This step, especially as Step 1 may seem a bit weird. Let me assure you that you will want to be as prepared as possible when doing this. Doing this step first also strengthens your resolve for the time after you have stopped using your mobile phone. You will appreciate knowing possible objections to your decisions and criticisms from others as knowing them will help you come up with creative alternatives.
Step #2: Plan Your First 30 days
Having a plan for your first 30 days will help ease the transition for yourself. For just 30 days, try to calendar out for usual interactions you would have by phone. For example, make a plan weekly to communicate with your friends and family. Going mobile less, time can be your friend or your enemy. Trust me, you want time to be your friend. Having time as your friend means that you stay committed to time contraints as much as possible and you want others aware of your commitment. When events or such circumstances require that you be at a place at a certain time, being mobile less, you do not have the option to text or call to let someone know you will be late. Planning ahead is how you make time your friend.
Step #3: Know Your Limits
Knowing yourself and your limits is crucial. Know that sometimes, you will need to communicate with others that are not immediate to you. Let’s face it, in this day and age, you are probably never less than 10 feet away from a person with a mobile device or access to a telephone. Use your resources wisely. I do not advocate using unsafe measures but I have been know to walk up to a stranger or a store to ask someone to use their phone if I get lost. Know that there are limits. Know when you need to reach out for help or when you need access to a phone while you are out. Lastly, have confidence that you will be okay. Even in emergency situations, think clearly and act fast.
What have I learned since going mobile less?
I learned that there are not nearly as many emergencies that pop up that require me to have access to a phone. I also learned that I have to rely on my instinct and myself when faced with a problem or issue instead of relying on instant communication. I have learned a lot of random things going mobile less:
  • I learned how to navigate my surroundings better;
  • I learned that not everything is an emergency and that eventually everything works itself;
  • I learned that life is more interesting when you are looking up and not down at a phone;
  • I learned that I am much more resourceful than I ever could have imagined.
If you think going mobile less is for you, give it a try. Even if you don’t think it’s best for you, it won’t hurt to give it a try and see what you learn. Let me know if you have tried to go mobile less before or if you are going mobile less now.
Good luck!