In this blog post I’m going to go over how most people feel when they attempt to abstain from their device for the first time.
Ideally, it would be great if we could just put our devices down and then go straight to doing useful things like reading, exercising, and spending time with family and friends. But unfortunately, for most people, that’s not how it usually goes.
The first time you try take the plunge, you’re going to feel REALLY anxious. If you have any nervous ticks, you’re probably going to have them surface a lot when you first try this out.
One of the most common reactions people have to this test of will is a sudden need to start pacing everywhere. I was a Pacer. For some reason, all I wanted to do was walk around all over my house when I first started. I would walk back and forth in rooms and up and down stairs. It was surprisingly satisfying. I wasn’t reading like I wanted to but, I knew pacing was still much healthier than spending copious amounts of time on YouTube or my other online vices.
While I paced, I became more familiar with my home environment than I ever had been before. This makes sense, since it’s hard to be aware of one’s environment when one’s face is glued to a screen during all their waking hours. This transformed my obsession with pacing into an obsession with cleaning. Pacing led to cleaning, cleaning led to pacing, and the cycle repeated itself for days on end. Eventually, I even got the idea to take my pacing outside for once.
As my automatic responses to being without my devices evolved, I could tell I was getting more comfortable with the experience. It was only at this point that I was finally able to start doing useful things with my offline time.
So, if you ever find yourself doing weird things when you don’t have your device to soothe or entertain you, don’t been discouraged. It’s simply part of the process.