Daily ritual: your phone on silent mode

Daily ritual

Sometimes a small surprise or new ritual can be all you need to liven up your daily life. In Issue 33, five people share how it happened for them. Nathalie Castricum (46, activity coordinator) left Facebook, and her phone is permanently set to silent mode.

Why did you leave Facebook?

“On the one hand, I enjoyed checking posts and photos posted by good friends I don’t speak to that often. You can sort of keep up with everyone’s lives. But I also realized that it made me really anxious, the pressure I put on myself. I kept feeling like I had to post a quick response, even though I didn’t actually have the time or energy for it. So much information was crowding my brain that I didn’t have room for: posts from people I barely know and reminders to congratulate them, even though I would never do this in real life. I also started to get more and more irritated with the negative posts in a few Facebook groups, about a trash bag that was put out next to the bin, again, for example. I couldn’t just put the responses out of my mind; Facebook kept pulling me out of the here-and-now.”

Was it hard to leave?

“No, this is better for me. I’m already getting bombarded enough with emails and phone calls at work. I do training courses now and then for work, which is also why I’ve tried to create more peace and quiet. My phone is permanently set to silent mode in my bag. I want to be able to keep my attention where it belongs and not be disturbed. I often leave my phone at home when I leave the house. I hear constant beeps and ringtones from others and am so happy I don’t have to hear my own.”

What does the outside world think of your new habit?

“I hear that it’s often hard to get in touch with me. This is true, but secretly I love it. I get anxious when people want all sorts of things from me. When I’m on vacation, I also prefer not to get calls or messages. I just want to be free for a little while and disengage from all my obligations. I’ll just tell people when I get home how my vacation was. I keep hearing that more and more people I know have left Facebook. In today’s world, you have to make a conscious choice of what you can live without and would rather not see. And if I want to speak to ‘real’ friends from Facebook, I’d rather do this with my full attention, and in real life.”

  • Read about the rituals of other people in Issue 33.

Text Mariska Jansen  Photography Alisa Anton/Unsplash.com