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A week without a mobile phone

A week without a mobile phone


Hi, you’ve reached the voicemail of Richard
Nicholls. I’m afraid I’ll be un-contactable on this phone number until Monday the 26th February.
If you’d like to reach me in the meantime, please send me an email or phone the office.
Thank you. This is a week without a mobile phone. I’ve had an Iphone now for over 10 years.
It’s amazing and I love it. I can buy things with it, listen to my entire
record collection, take photos, shoot video, send emails, browse the internet, effectively
run my business from it. But it comes at a cost. And that cost is,
it’s a major distraction. So this week, I’m having a digital detox.
I won’t touch my phone for the next seven days and I’m consciously going to try and live more mindfully, that is to say, without sounding too new age about it – that I’m going to pay more attention to what’s going on around me
and live in the moment. It’s lunchtime and I’ve just come out
for a little walk. This is a classic example of a time when I
would’ve brought my phone with me. There’s something quite nice about just
switching off, putting it away. Not having any distractions.
It’s nice! Ok, so the weather has turned quite quickly.
There I was shooting some nice footage in the park in the sunshine.
Now we’ve got quite heavy snow. I’m off! Edinburgh has been hit hard by an incoming
storm from Russia known as the Beast from the East. We’ve had over six inches of snow in a little over 24 hours. Of course, if I’d had my mobile phone with me, I would’ve been alerted to the weather
forecast. This was my very first mobile phone – the
Nokia 5110 – and I got in the year 2000 when I started my postgraduate film course at Bristol
University. It was great. You could make and receive phone
calls and text messages and that’s about it. But it was perfect and that was all I needed. 18 years ago I had only really just started
using email, but the thought of needing this on my phone
back then would have seemed ridiculous. The one additional thing that this phone had,
which should have been a warning to me for what was to come in the future, is that it
had a game on it called Snake. To the uninitiated, Snake was a very simple
game where you used the arrow keys on the phone to direct the snake around the screen
to eat these dots that appeared. The more dots the snake eats, the longer it
grows and the higher your score. I became amazing at Snake.
It was so addictive and it was always available for me to play. 5 minutes to kill waiting for a train – game of Snake. Sat on the toilet – game of Snake. I don’t anyone who had a higher score on
Snake than I did. Fast forward 18 years and with the almost
unlimited range of things that you can now use your smart phone for, it’s not hard
to see how this has come become a major distraction. Self-discipline is needed around a smart phone,
but it’s hard. And access to social media only make this
worse. Today I’m down in the Scottish borders doing
some filming. It’s a nice sunny day and there’s still
quite a lot of snow around. One of the main things that I use my mobile
phone for is social media. The three main platforms I use are Twitter,
Facebook and Instagram. Twitter I don’t use so much, Instagram I
use daily and I love the creativity of the platform. I like posting photographs. And Facebook I only joined 18 months ago. There’s a phenomenon called ‘Fear of Missing Out’, or ‘FOMO’. And apparently this is a very real addiction and one of the main reasons that people check
their social media so often on their mobile phones. This week I haven’t been looking at Twitter, Instagram or Facebook on my phone for a number
of days now. And I have to say, I feel far more connected
to my environment, far more connected to what I’m doing, and far more connected to the
people that I’m with. One thing I use my mobile phone for probably
more than anything is taking photos. Over the years I’ve been able to capture
some amazing moments that otherwise I would have lost were it not for the fact that I
had a mobile phone in my pocket. Forgetting all the social media nonsense that
you can do on your phone, that’s the one thing I’ve really missed
this week. By not using my mobile phone this week, I’ve
actually felt a lot happier. I feel like I’ve wasted a lot less time,
I’ve enjoyed being around people more and I’ve been more observant and interested
in the places I’ve been to. So my experience this week has made me want
to make some changes. From now on, I won’t start the day by reaching
for my phone. I won’t use my phone after 9 o’clock in
the evening. And when I’m looking after my boys by
myself, I’m going to switch my phone off. I won’t be experiencing FOMO – Fear Of
Missing Out – it will be FOMO – F*** Off, Mobile’s off. Everyone will be
a lot happier. As a parent, I need to set an example to my
own children and ultimately, I’m just very grateful that
I spent my own childhood doing things like this… and not this. Thank you for watching my latest weekly challenge.
You can follow my progress on these channels. Although don’t spend too much time doing
that on your phone.

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