Offline is the new luxury (2)

Time spent on your smartphone: how could you pass it more wisely? And what exactly does it do for you? Each Friday, Irene, who together with Astrid is the founder of Flow, writes about this particular issue.

I miss them at times: those moments of ultimate idleness. Staring out the window of the train, studying other people while waiting in line for the checkout, waking up and listening to the birds singing, or watching how the light creeps in round the edges of the curtains and wondering whether or not the sun is shining outside. In each of these moments, though, I now reach for my phone. Even if I don’t actually want to. Even if I am determined not to.

In the current issue of the Dutch Flow, we’ve included an ‘Offline for 7 Days’ notebook, where you can log (by marking the hours on the page) how often, and when, you are on your phone. I recently read about a study which shows that the average phone user looks at their phone an incredible 2,617 times a day. Wow. We hadn’t realized that when we made the time scheme in the notebook…

In his book, Distraction: A Philosopher’s Guide to Being Free, Australian philosopher Damon Young writes, ‘If we can’t escape technology, we can certainly enforce its limits, and our own. We can defer to the noise of YouTube and cable television, or we can seek moments of quiet attention and reflection. We can accept the stress of 24-hour availability, or we can reclaim our own rhythms.’ That really made me think and I decided to take some serious action this week: Every evening, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., I’ll be putting my phone away in a cupboard. Let’s hope it will result in some beautiful moments of musing…

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