There is thankfully, one cure for most IT problems… turn it off and on again. I’ve never understood why, but the simple act of unplugging a computer can solve so many issues. Computers are supposed to be inanimate objects that just follow a logical line of computer code but, from time to time, they just decide to become irrational and need rebooting.
We can laugh so easily about this little quirk of computers, and yet we don’t see it in ourselves. We feel overwhelmed by the amount of messages in our inbox and notifications on our social media, and yet FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) pushes us to keep checking and responding.
We strive to be mindful and present in the moment, but watch the major events of our lives through a screen. We yearn for authentic relationships with people who really know us, and yet we add filters to our photos, add spin to our statutes and check in to exciting locations to ensure everyone knows what a great life we live.
A few years ago I was leaving a shop with my two youngest children, in a rush to collect to my eldest from school. Of course in that moment I felt the need to check my phone for messages before I could continue on my way.
As I did, I dropped my phone and watched in horror as it bounced on the pavement. Not only did the screen crack but the technology behind it shattered too. There was no simple switch on and off to fix this particular IT problem. Thankfully my contract was due to end in just a few weeks so I brought a basic phone to get me through.
For those few weeks I could phone and I could text. In theory I could email too, but only with great difficulty. There was certainly no social media or internet browsing. Instead of being frustrated I quickly learnt to love that phone. I had no reason to check it, I didn’t even feel the need to take it with me if I knew I wasn’t going to be out for long. For those few weeks I enjoyed the sense of freedom it gave me.
I’m doing my best to never break a phone again but a couple of times a year I remind myself that my phone is a tool to aid my life and not control it. I delete the social media apps off my phone so I can only access them when I intentionally turn my computer on. I switch my emails off when I get home and enjoy the benefits of once again being unplugged.
Instead of FOMO it’s amazing how much more I experience life as I live a little more unplugged.