Day Two Challenge:
45 Minute Phone Fast + original Ground Rules!
Today’s challenge is turn your phone off for 45 minutes. Yes, only 45 minutes… because my guess is… and I’m only speaking from personal experience, you may have forgotten to do your 30 minutes yesterday. So that brings your total to 75 Minutes--but who’s counting?
GROUND RULE SPOTLIGHT, #2:
(2) No phone during meals.
Yup. Meaning: no phone. Let me repeat: no texting, no googling, no watching a show, no responding to a text, no reading tomorrow’s #SmartFreedom Challenge, no social media. NO.PHONE.DURING.MEALS. Even if everyone else is on their phones… Even if you’re dining alone and you feel super awkward. Even if you’re dining alone and you’re at home. This rule ain’t easy.
Suggestion: Turn it off and leave it in your bag or pocket or car. If it is on you will be tempted to “check the time” then you’ll see your missed messages, and it’s all over from there. NOTE: That “Do Not Disturb While Driving” can be set manually any time--not just when you’re driving...and you can edit your away message accordingly!
Why Is This Important?
When Eating with Others in Public: You know how it is… you’re sitting there, enjoying your brunch, and someone makes a comment, a statement, an assertion, or asks a question… and we have this incessant need to google, imdb, or some other form of fact-checkery because we NEEEEEED to Know the name of the actress that played Wendy Peffercorn in Sandlot, where to get an old timey typewriter, or was there an actual St. Germain... and we need to know NOW!
Last Saturday (before the challenge began), I was having a lovely brunch, and my co-bruncher ordered a delicious Champagne/St. Germain Mimosa…. Which prompted all of the natural questions germane to the cocktail… Who was St. Germain? What is he the Patron Saint of? Why is St. Germain so delicious? What is an elderflower? And in a moment of great restraint and welcomed respite, my co-bruncher decided to not take out his phone. Because, truly, we just didn’t need to know the answer right then. It hurt for a minute. Physically. To not know. To fret that perhaps after brunch we would forget to look it up later… the irrational fear of not knowing… how ridiculous! How real.
Because if we’re honest, the second the phone comes out, you have to check your messages from your March Madness betting pool, then a quick glance to instagram, then you have to take a photo of your cocktail, or your co-bruncher because she had put in a little effort that day....meanwhile she pulls her phone out to check and see if her eyeliner melted from the heat, sees a new email from work, googles that earlier Wendy Peffercorn question (Marley Shelton), and before you both know it--brunch is over.
The restraint to keep the phone in the pocket, in your purse, or in the car is always WORTH IT. We just don’t need to know. We have such precious little time in our busy lives for genuine community, for eye contact, for human affection. Why should the wikipedia answer for WHO IS ST. GERMAIN interrupt that? Rob you of Brunch Magic? Be the strong during your next brunch, or any meal and get over the need-to-knows!
When eating alone: We do not know how to be alone. If we’re eating alone in public we bring our armor… our phones, laptops, tablets. We don’t know what to do with our hands. Particularly during meals, we don’t know what to do with our eyes. Often we think people are looking at us… and we don’t want to look weird. However, if a person is not doing the #SmartFreedom Challenge it is highly likely that they are not looking at you at all. We need to learn to sit in public and be alone. Silent with our thoughts as we enjoy our food.
What to do with your hands (or in this case, your eyes)?
Eating with Others in Public: Be the brave one that says, “Let’s look it up later. I don’t want us to take our phones out.” Talk about other things that don’t require Google. Or bring a little notepad and write down all the things you want to ask Google later.
Eating with Others at Home: Perhaps going out to lunch is a little more of an occasion, and your phone restraint is more likely. Being at home is tough… but again, particularly with our families, if we create tiny phone free spaces in our day, we will reap incredible benefits. Make it a point to get everyone involved! Put a small box on the table where everyone can leave their phones.
Eating Alone in Public: Savor your food. Look at your surroundings. People watch. Journal. Read a book. Engage your mind. Tap into your own interiority. You can’t do that by looking at People.com. Really take the opportunity to BE BRAVE. It is intimidating to eat alone… but it shouldn’t be!
Eating Alone at Home: How better to work on self-control than to control yourself when no one is paying attention? BONUS CHALLENGE: Turn off ALL Screens--laptops, TV, iPad, Kindle, etc. Look out a window, and enjoy your view for a change.
Eating in General: Savor your food! Being in Southern Louisiana, we have the best food around… and sure that means that sometimes we want to Instagram it, but try to take a break from the food porn. That meal is for YOU. It is an unrepeatable experience. Never again in your life will you eat that exact meal with these exact people in this exact place. So be PRESENT to the moment rather than contemplating which is the best filter and hashtag to apply to these particular noms. Not aaaall the time--sometimes we have special occasions that require photographic memories to be made… but sometimes we need a BREAK. We need to UNPLUG. We need to live in the REAL WORLD. These next 40 Days are that chance!
Oh, and to save you from needing to Google it... St. Germain was a 5th Century Bishop in Auxerre.
What was that rule about Driving again?