Having trouble ditching your phone?
I know I am.
I started Go Wild because I love being outside and I love facilitating outdoor experiences for others. Yet, I find myself glued to my phone or computer far more often than I want to be: it’s what it takes to run a small business.
At least that’s what they tell you.
Small business, no matter the industry, seems to have become a hustle, a (popularity) contest, of who can keep the consumer glued to their phone the longest.
You don’t need to look very far to find the evidence. Remember when it was common to make conversation with whomever was next to you in line, at the doctor's office, on the bus? I look around and I see faces turned down, illuminated by iphone screens.
As a small business owner, I’ve been trying not to buy in. I’ve been trying to find alternative ways to reach consumers, methods that are less soul-sucking on both ends. I’ve been trying to find alternative ways to get work done without staring at a screen.
Unfortunately, there’s just a lot of work that just requires a computer. But then there’s the stuff that, frankly, isn't necessary- the stuff which we trick ourselves into thinking is necessary. Before long, you’re not just browsing for trail ideas, you're watching videos of cats hiking through the woods.
I struggle with trying to put my phone down. Here are few things I’m doing to ditch the phone:
Using my phone for phone things
If I tell myself not to do things on my phone which I could do on my computer (browse, shop, looking things up), oftentimes the added barrier of just opening the laptop will convince me to do something else. And usually, that something else is also much more meaningful.
I try to only use my phone for texts, calls, and music— what else really requires it?
Could I be doing this on paper?
Another question I ask myself often when working on Go Wild. I’m writing this blog post on a notebook sitting on my porch, the same place where I brainstormed other newsletter ideas, and the same place where I sketched out the storyboard for our next video.
Is what I’m doing on my phone more important than what’s around me?
Usually, almost always, it’s not. The alternatives are: engaging with my loved ones, working outside, reading, or perhaps most importantly of all in this day in age: just doing nothing. Giving yourself time to think, time to wander, time to do nothing.
Quit cold turkey. Go outside on a hike, camping trip, bike ride, whatever, and don’t even bring the phone (or bury it in the bottom of the pack if bringing it for safety). Go where there’s no cell service. And, don’t trick yourself into thinking you need it for maps, photos, or to track your steps. There are other way to do this. Remember when we didn’t have phones? Paper maps?
Go Wild still has availability on multiple tours throughout the summer, none of which go anywhere near cell service.