Getting back to a pre-smartphone state of mind

– a how-to for addicts.

“Damn you, stupid battery“. I had no other options than to just put my phone back into my bag and deal with it. No digital connection – at all.

And sure I’d find some place to charge that needy beggar. Even on the camping site where I was staying, and even though I’d said “no, no, I don’t need electricity“, long before I’d realize HOW broken my battery was.

I took the bus back to the site and while I was sitting there, just letting my mind wander around, my brain decided it wouldn’t want to have any more smartphoney stuff that day and have some more time to read instead. Fine.


Back at the camping site I found the saving plug socket next to a lavatory by the showers. Phew. I’d just check emails, diaspora, … face… wtf?

Just half an hour earlier I had decided to not check all this stuff again that evening. And now I was standing in the shower room, bending over the sink because of my much too short charging cable, scrolling my facebook thread…

It had happened automatically.

When did I get so programmed on checking my smartphone? And could it be that I was the one who was actually needy?


I tried to remember the last time I had been without Facebook for a longer period of time. It was on a camp site in 2011. Three weeks in France, Bretagne.

Since then few days had passed without checking Facebook at least once. This habit had already caused “tenosynovitis” (better known as writer’s cramp) and significant pain in my right hand several times before.

Access to a good (or at least sufficiently good) internet connection was almost everywhere. Even in other countries I could get an internet flat rate for a few Euros.

But just because I could have access to something… didn’t mean I had to…


And so, standing there, with the precious black thing in my hands, having my eyes jump from keybord to battery symbol (is it still charging??), I decided I desperately needed to take a break.

To step back from the digital world and its seduction.

From digital abundance.

My online addiction.

Just a week before I had decided to declutter all my stuff in August. And it looked like I needed to do the same with my mind.


Because… I don’t want to feel so dependent.

I know I am and will always be dependent in some ways.

I won’t ever loose my dependency on food, water and fresh air — but I can, if I want, refuse obedience to stuff.

So I set new rules — and here they are:

  1. I won’t check any social media before noon.
  2. I’ll only check twice a day — and for not longer than half an hour.
  3. It’s fine to use telegram (similar to what’sApp) for communication with family and friends the whole day.
  4. I will meditate twice a day for at least a minute, to clear my mind.
  5. I will put my phone away. Like in “far away”. So that I’ll have to put in some effort to reach it. Bathroom, under the bed,… something like that.

The most important part: have set rules for when it’s okay to check and use social media — and when it’s not. To reduce the all-time seduction.


And hopefully I can get back to a pre-smartphone state of mind.

That state of mind where I can do things in the analog world without the everlasting feeling of missing out on something on the internet.

And reduce the time each day where I’m consuming — and make more space in time and mind for creating.


How do you make sure to have enough time and capacity for creating? Write me or leave a comment.

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