The need for Offline.
Reading Craig Mod’s article about his experiences navigating one month offline and removed from the internet reminded myself how much I value simply disconnecting for a moment. He states that most people would not be able to live full life offline, but it is crucial to find a balance of allocating your attention. Instead of grabbing your phone first thing in the morning, take some time to yourself. I am guilty of scrolling through the news and Twitter before getting on with my day, but it is truly a difficult habit to break. I think that a first step to get out of the habit is using an alarm that isn’t my phone. This would leave the phone out of reach during the beginning of the day, allowing more time to pay attention to the important things.
I find that after a long semester of work and a full course load, I almost crave to spend more time offline. For months on end, I sleep, go to work, go to school, and spend the rest of the time “decompressing” on my phone. I usually am able to relax and stop looking at my phone when hiking and camping. The campsites and trails I tend to visit do not have cellular reception, disallowing me to attempt to go online. It is sort of a forceful removal from the online life, but it is much needed.
I believe there is no better place to be offline than in nature itself. It feels wrong to waste time on your phone when there is so much to explore and experience in the outdoors. After the long and tiring year that 2020 was, my boyfriend and I decided to do a New Year’s camping trip in the snow. We spent a lot of time sitting in silence, appreciating the landscape around us, and doing more physical activity. By the end of the trip, we felt level-headed and energized to get back to town. It was refreshing to remove ourselves from the fast-paced lives we have at home and work during a usually hectic and busy time.
I enjoyed Craig Mod’s suggestions to reevaluate how to spend your morning. Your waking hours often set the tone for the rest of your day and it is important to have conscious time before escaping into the online world. Going forward, I am going to attempt this practice to regain some of my attention back to reality.