Disconnected

I graduated as a Telecom engineer, and yet I am barely connected. A data plan is a huge distraction, I have no need for it.

I installed four apps on my phone. All are muted. Three of them are social - Whatsapp, Telegram, and Instagram - I downloaded them because it was the only way to use the desktop version. The fourth one is Calm, to help with my meditation routine.

Whenever I travel and I need a map, I use a screenshot or I just draw the directions on a piece of paper. Sometimes I get lost and I need to ask locals for directions. It's quite an adventure, an attempt at re-enchanting the world. And a great way to develop your sense of direction.

I only use my phone on four occasions: to wake myself up (alarm clock), to take notes, to show important papers (tickets, ID cards, etc.), and to actually phone/text people. And sometimes to take selfies with friends. The rest can wait.

Listening to a podcast? I download everything in a dedicated MP3 player. Reading? Ebook reader. Photography? Hybrid camera. My phone is in plane mode for about 23 hours a day.

If you believe you have to stay connected 24/7 "for work", well, you have to educate your customers on the wonders of asynchronous communication. Efficient phone calls are like efficient meetings: short, planned, and straight to the point. Prefer video calls for ice breakers.

Switching off your phone is respecting your time, and thus yourself. People can wait. If you work, just work. If you meet someone, focus on the conversation. I am extremely annoyed when I meet a friend or go on a date only to see someone stuck on a phone screen. There is a time for everything, and multi-tasking is the surest way to accomplish nothing.

Attention span, deep work, living in the present... going phoneless for the majority of the day is probably the most impactful habit you can implement right now.

I only spend about five bucks a month in connectivity costs with a cheap unlocked Samsung.