THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING OFFLINE

12:00 PM



David aka my handsome boyfriend (and most probably my number one fan) has been reminding me on a regular basis to post some content here on the blog. It has been a while, hasn't it? I don't really know why, but I needed this time off of everything in order to focus on other aspects of my life that have been neglected during the past year or so.

Since I've been away for a while, I thought, why not bring you this post that has been lost in my drafts for probably far too long.

I feel like there's this misconception that if you're not present online every single day you'll be forgotten. But the fun fact is, that I actually received a lot more interaction from your guys in the last weeks that I've been away rather than when I am constantly on social media or posting on a regular basis. So thank you for that because not only it gave me the motivation to come back but it also made me realize the importance of allowing myself some offline time.

"Offline is the new luxury." someone once said. And oddly enough this has quickly become so true.

It has been a while since I removed most social media and messaging apps from my phone. And it has been ages since I watched tv, read or listened to the news.

I have also started spending the majority of time away from my phone and snoozed all the notifications during a certain period of time throughout my days.

By doing so, I realized a couple of things that I thought might be interesting to share with you guys. But before all that, let me share with you a short insight about myself so you can better understand the reasons that lead me to take these steps.

A brief insight

First thing you should know about me - I hate hearing phones ringing, especially when it comes to messages or notification alerts. Since a young age, I struggle with keeping my focus, so having a phone beeping all the time is a constant distraction that drives me nuts more often than not.

I come from a generation where mobile phones weren't even a thing, let alone smartphones. By this, I don't mean that smartphones are necessarily bad or that the new technology is at all something evil. I just think that we are not taught on how to make a proper use of it and can easily get sucked in for far more time than we should.

Being a mother helped me understand the importance of my actions. Having my daughter imitating everything that I do, opened my eyes to give her the best examples that I can. And an important one is that there is a time and place for everything and more important than spending time on your phone is to be present.

Taking action

A while back I noticed that I was often feeling very anxious and part of the reason why was because of too much information surrounding me all the time. The other part was, that I was not allowing myself to have alone time. By alone time I mean, no phone, no computer, no nothing - pure dull moments. Those are very important too, you know?

So I decided to drop TV and anything that was related to the news, to begin with. It was such a relief not having to fill up my head every day with sensationalistic and opinionated news' format about things that only made me feel oppressed, scared and impotent. A lot of people find this to be a selfish action and a disregard for what is happening in the world, but believe me that the important news always finds their way, only by then they are filtered and purely informative, and do not try to manipulate me to feel a certain way or another.

After this, I noticed that I was still being too distracted. Instead of making use of my time to create or do something meaningful to me, I would spend too much lazy time scrolling through social media, for example. So I decided to remove most social media and messaging apps from my phone. That doesn't mean that I won't check it every once in a while, but it definitely allowed me to create an organic schedule and be less dependent on it, plus it gave me the "free time" to do stuff that actually adds something valuable to my days.

The beginning

So at first, I felt a bit guilty for creating an online schedule, because I was afraid that it would come across as if I didn't care enough. But now, that I don't have that constant overwhelming feeling and pressure on my back, I realized how much I needed to take this step back and just breathe. If I feel good, I can positively affect everyone else around me, but the same goes the other way around and I am extremely transparent when it comes to how I feel.


Some things I've learned from this experience

People do not expect you to be offline. If you take longer than a certain amount of time to reply or post something on social media, most people will actually be concerned about you and start questioning if you're alright or why you haven't responded. So if in a way you feel more relaxed, in other, you can still feel the pressure to be constantly online at first. But the good thing is, is that with time people start to understand you and respect your decision as well.

Not being as constantly online made me closer to my friends and family. If I'm with someone, chances are that I don't even know where I put my phone. I'm there at that moment and I am as interested in what they have to say to me as I could possibly be. I feel like the online oversharing makes people disconnected in the sense that it gives you the illusion of knowing what's happening and not feeling the need to actually get in touch with someone. You know what I mean?

I have so much time after all! When I started transforming the time I used to spend grabbed to my phone into actually doing something, that feeling of emptiness at the end of the day just completely disappeared. Not only I feel like I have more time to focus on something, but it made me so much present and allowed me to appreciate a lot more of what is happening around me.

It is an addiction. Have you ever stopped to think about how many times per day you check your phone? I can ensure you that it is way more than you think. I noticed that I was constantly checking on my phone even if there was nothing going on, no notification, no nothing. Why? I don't even know. I guess because I created that habit. How many times have I checked on my phone to see what time it was and I ended up scrolling through whatever and completely forgot why I was even on my phone again? Probably far too many times.

You pay more attention to others around you. Not only in the sense of being more present, but you start noticing that the majority of people around you will be looking at their phones, tablets, pcs instead of interacting with each other. Things like talking with someone while they're looking at a screen instead of looking you in the eyes will annoy you.

Boring moments are just as important. This is not only applied to kids, but it is definitely as important for adults too.
Sure that there are no dull moments when you have your smartphone charged with battery and have access to wi-fi. But are you being at all productive? Does that make your day any happier or makes you feel fulfilled? Allowing yourself some "boring time" each day is super important to your creativity, to your inner peace, it can make you feel so much calmer, focused and inspired. It's a precious time to get in touch with yourself and everything around you.

In the end, only you can choose the right time to be where you want to be.



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