A day without my smartphone

From yesterday afternoon until this afternoon, I went 24 hours without using my phone. I did this voluntarily, not because my phone was dying and I didn’t have my charger with me. I wanted to spend quality time with my boyfriend without the distraction of my phone, and to see what a whole day without my smartphone would be like.

It was a liberating experience. I felt less anxious and stressed. It felt good to ignore any texts or calls (which I knew wouldn’t be pressing) that I would otherwise reply to right away out of a sense of obligation.

I gave my boyfriend more of my undivided attention and just lived in the moment fully, truly enjoying the day with no commitments beyond the time I was spending at my boyfriend’s parents’ house. It was quite a relief not being practically tied to my smartphone.

During those 24 hours, I modified some of my smartphone-reliant habits. Instead of relying on my phone for the time, I put on my watch that I only wear to tell time at work. Instead of bothering with news apps, I was fine just watching “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and “The Daily Show.”

I only got on Facebook on a computer once in those 24 hours to show my boyfriend a funny post I had seen before. I didn’t even peruse my news feed on Facebook. Instead of having my phone to set an alarm for the morning, I relied on myself to get up at a decent time. I got up only 10 minutes after I usually have been getting up in the morning. Again, I had nothing important to attend to that day, so I didn’t need too be up at a certain time. As for e-mail, I checked it once the next morning on the computer. It felt kind of nice checking my e-mail on my own time and not being constantly notified of new e-mail.

I did get a little anxious to finally use my phone again about an hour before my 24 hours were up. I anxiously awaited checking any missed calls, texts, or e-mails. But other than that, the day without using my smartphone was quite a pleasant experience where I felt more calm and happy.

I believe that being constantly connected to so much information does subconsciously stress us out. Several hours, or even a day, without using a smartphone can be quite a beneficial experience.

As a result of this experience, I have changed my notification settings on my phone. I turned off notifications for Facebook and I set my e-mail to fetch manually. I think it will prove to be less stressful to just check my e-mail on my own time. I think it will also prove to be less invasive (quality time-wise) to check Facebook for notifications on my own time, too.

Smartphones are a great invention, but if we let them, they can become too invasive and cause some anxiety and stress.


Mobile shopping: Buying gifts no matter where you are


This year to make some of your Christmas shopping easier and less stressful, shop online. Or better yet, on your smartphone. You’re probably really busy already. So cut out the unnecessary long trips to the mall as you take forever to decide what to buy for loved ones. Do your Christmas shopping on your own time, no matter where you are.

Shopping on a smartphone is a breeze. I had to buy a game for a friend awhile ago because their original game got lost. It didn’t take me long to find the game on Amazon’s mobile app and order the game. All while riding in the car with my boyfriend. It felt good to take care of it that fast and easily, without having to look at the mall or GameStop for the game, knowing I probably wouldn’t find it.

I already have half of my Christmas shopping done, thanks to a recent trip to the stores and thanks to the family I was shopping for not being the type of people I have a hard time shopping for. For the remaining three people on my Christmas gift list, I will probably turn to Amazon to pick out gifts to make the process simpler than going to a bunch of different stores.

To help with Christmas shopping or any type of shopping in actual stores, Red Laser is very helpful. Just scan the bar code of the potential gift you are looking at and it will help you save a few bucks by finding stores that have the same item for cheaper. And who doesn’t love saving money buying Christmas gifts, especially when they have several people to buy gifts for? Red Laser also gives handy product reviews so you can make an even smart buying decision by determining if the item is even worth buying.

As I see it, online and mobile shopping is the way of the future, and very helpful when you are in a pinch.