A Christmas Without A Phone
I sat in the back of the wagon attached to the lawn mower. It was a warm and beautiful evening two days before Christmas and we were delivering gift boxes to all of our neighbours.
I reached down to get my phone. To post up a ‘this is living’ photo on Instagram. On Facebook. To prove that I was living in the moment. A vignette of my life for public consumption.
Then I realised that I had made a conscious effort to not be on any social media platforms for two weeks. To not be hourly or minutely checking my Facebook or Instagram pages.
The first 48 hours I felt like I was going into withdrawal. It has become such an integral and obsessive part of my life. Checking the ‘likes’ and reach and approval/validation from my online community.
Putting my conscious and subconscious worth. Distraction. Lack of connection & vulnerability into social media.
So as I reached down to take a photo, I realised that my phone wasn’t there. It was inside the house. An intention-filled action on my part to so showcasing my life. To be present.
As we drove to our friends house on Christmas day I said to my husband ‘I think I would have put up at least 15 photos today and videos of our Christmas and I haven’t put up one.”
It was as though I had to remind myself of the space I was creating in my life to insure I was being connected. The deep sense that I have wanted for so many months was in full swing. To finally reduce my desire to always been glued to my phone. Seeking affirmation, approval and often a fleeting sense of connection.
We spent 10 hours at our friends house. Eating, drinking Sangria, watching the kids play pool. Making dinner, topping the pavlova with berries. Getting to know each other. Sharing stories. Connecting.
I didn’t take 1 photo. I didn’t upload one video.
At some point, we have to recognise that social media has a place. A place for sharing information and often bridging the gap of distance. I’m so grateful for Facetime. But what it doesn’t cultivate is an authentic sense of connection, vulnerability and human-ness.
I got in the car last night, and realised that for the first time in a very very long time I hadn’t shared every waking minute online with my phone. In fact, I hadn’t looked a phone to see what others were doing all day.
I know it sounds crazy, but honestly we sit and hide behind our screens so much. I shelters us from being present, being in the moment and working through the awkwardness of the human experience.
It’s something that I’m bringing forward even further in my life. I can’t help but think about all of the people I know online, but truly don’t know. To think about all of the people who are living around me, but again I don’t create time to get involved with.
So, I had a Christmas without a phone. And I can tell you as I packed our tired daughter in the car. Backing out as the twinkle of the fairy lights dimmed from our friends house…I was absolutely filled to the brim.
And my phone…it was at home…with 1% charge.