As I’ve shared here previously, my phone use regularly cycles between manageable and problematic. I had a doozy of a week last week. It was one of those weeks where I was reaching for my phone and/or AirPods to fill every spare moment of my day with scrolling or listening to podcasts.
The problem isn’t so much with the phone use but how I feel when I put it down. I at least stay off when looking after the kids (I’m not ignoring them and checking my phone instead), but I’m irritable and bored. And I know the only reason I feel that way is because I’ve been stimulation-bingeing during all of my free time. I’m guessing it is probably some sort of dopamine withdrawal situation. And then I get in a shame spiral over the fact I’m spoiling my time with the kids, which makes me just want to use the phone more.
Well, on Friday night, I’d reached the bottom of the spiral and was completely sick of my shit (once again). I decided Saturday would be a “no inputs” day: no email, no socials, no news, no RSS, no podcasts, no AirPods.
So that’s what I did on Saturday. I spent the day with my family, and with myself, and despite noticing the urge to pick up my phone around every two minutes, I essentially felt… peace. I felt so good on Saturday night I decided to make it a no inputs weekend and keep going on Sunday. Finally, on Sunday night, I cleared out my email as part of my weekly planning and review process.
As I write this now, I feel largely “reset” and far better than last week. I will have to see how things play out once I’m back into the weekday routine and whether I do better at staying off my phone. I’m considering repeating my no inputs weekend next weekend, too. I’ll let you know how it goes.