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  • Christine Beattie

Conscious Uncoupling

Giving up my iPhone was never going to be easy.

Basically everything I've ever truly needed is in one little hand-held device. It tells me when to wake up, what time to be somewhere, how to get there, who's doing what - and to whom on social media, I join in the celebrations with friends on the other side of the world, I'm reminded of loved one's birthdays, I share my opinions and sentiments to those I think might be interested, I text my mate over last night's party and swap photos that really should never, ever go beyond our chat ... but will end up in a Cloud somehow, anyway!

And all this before I get out of bed in the morning!

So how on earth will I cope without my daily "fix"? And why should I even want to?

Simply put, I think my brain is melting. Maybe because of my age (menopause IS the root of all evil), or too much fine wine and late night binges on Netflix, or my love affair with chocolate and the sugar devil ... who can say what's causing it? But what I do know is, that not only does my head literally buzz on close contact with my phone, I no longer take a moment to really think for myself. I look at the screen in the palm of my hand and I'm instantly informed, educated and entertained. Im reminded to increase my steps, decrease my carbs, hold that plank for 30 more seconds. I'm lured down the retail rabbit hole for things I SIMPLY MUST HAVE and place my credit card into the happy hands of hackers and merry fraudsters, all from my park bench. I've lost the ability to simply wait in line, instead I'm scrolling Facebook like a moron. I don't have to spell anything as my phone predicts what it thinks I really meant to say, anyway. I've missed my sons' cracking goals on the soccer pitch and walked head first into a sign post, all because I was so engrossed in resizing my photos before posting! My partner is a self proclaimed "Insta Widow" and God knows, the world would stop turning if my daily Story was #boring!

And it's also making me really, really sad. I watch young kids in the park, waiting for their parents to get off their phones (and vice versa). I can't believe how many toddlers in prams have their sticky fingers glued to technology. I see it in cafes, bars and restaurants where friends, families and couples aren't talking anymore. Everyone's got their trigger finger on the phone.

And how many more lives will we lose from being literally, driven to distraction on our roads?

So, I've decided to hit the Do Not Disturb button for the month of July; it's finally time for a "conscious uncoupling".

I'm not proposing to end my relationship with social media and technology... the laptop stays!

All I'm saying is, it's just become too crowded in my pocket.

Just like weight gain and it's subsequent loss, this kind of digital dependency doesn't just disappear overnight; it's taken a few weeks, and a little retail rabbiting, to get my plan into place.

  • My goal is to determine my final "set point" of where I consider myself to be at my happiest, healthiest weight on the digital detox scale.

  • I'm replacing my iPhone with the type of portable tools I'd become so dependent on, eg phone, iPod, camera, etc (See "Get Smart & Go Retro Toolkit")

  • I've created a survey to see if anyone else was feeling like we were all part of some smartphone zombie apocalypse

  • To make it more interesting (and less lonely), I'll be recording some face to face sessions with our Generation Z on growing up with cellular technology, as well as talking with others on the impact of smartphones on their workforce.

  • Finally, even renegades like me need "Rules & Guidelines".

Wish me luck, and I hope you'll come back and join me here, for the rest of DriPhone July.

Ps. Don't expect text messages from me that are longer than 4 words ...

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