I wrote a post on my instagram the other day about my trip to Antarctica and when it came to add hashtags, as if by themselves, my fingers wrote #nowifi #freedom.
I stopped and thought “No, that’s so weird to write”. And then I realised it was actually the truth for me. I mean, when do we get to feel totally free if we can always be reached for whatever reason? Most of us always answer, or at least check all messages, don’t we?
While away for eleven days on the ship in Antarctica we were offered to pay for very slow wifi. I understand people who chose to pay the fee. It is not easy to abandon your mobile for nearly two weeks. I remember at the time feeling lucky that I had previously been on silent meditation retreats where mobile phones are banned during retreat time. I had already gone through the cravings of the mobile and knew I would be fine.
I really enjoy keeping in touch with friends on my mobile phone, it is the easiest thing and a kind message can lighten up my day. However, when I leave my “normal life” to go travelling I love leaving everything behind. It’s super-freeing for me. Here is the way I see it: If I can be reached all the time on a weekend trip or a holiday or a fun event, I miss out on being present with the people I am with and the place I am at. I miss out on giving myself space to just be. And I can keep things that have to be dealt with for “later”…
I know that if I want to use my phone less I can just turn it off – but that’s easier said than done. Sometimes we need help 🙂 and I saw the no access to wifi during our trip as a welcoming solution.
Now, in order to continue feeling in charge of my mobile use I have put a mini restriction on myself. That is no clicking on the instagram button Friday afternoon till Sunday afternoon. It may sound like a super tiny thing to do / silly to some of you, but I believe that by doing my personal version of #nowifi a couple of days a week I can keep some of the #freedom feeling going. That’s more power to the present moment!