A few months ago, maybe a year, my phone stopped reading the memory card. It couldn’t access the 16 gigabytes on it, including all my saved music, pictures, videos, and several apps.
I kept putting off getting it fixed until earlier this month, when I brought it to a repair shop. In the meantime, I found myself preferring without the memory. When bored, instead of music, I paid attention to my thoughts or surroundings. Instead of showing pictures to friends or to myself to reminisce, I could talk to the friends, write, or some everyday, connecting means.
I had to actively learn and act on what I wanted, not just passively watch and listen.
The big difference was allowing many apps to disappear meant reducing phone use to calls, text, email, and not much else. The result: solitude and longer concentration. I still grab it often to check new mail, etc.
I haven’t tried a phone or web detox, but this has felt like it. It reminds me of my getting rid of books. Several podcast guests have encouraged me. Incidentally, I found out the problem reading the memory card: somehow one of the pins to connect to a card broke too deep to fix, so I’m permanently stuck with a low-memory phone, which I’m just fine with.
Read my weekly newsletter
On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees