“Carina, why aren’t you answering? You usually answer much faster!” I told an acquaintance a few weeks ago that I’m turning off my phone on Wednesday. I went crazy for the whole day. Everybody wanted something from me. From now on I can’t be reached every Wednesday. I can say I’m addicted to my phone. As an IT consultant I work a lot with digital devices and software that can be with me everywhere throughout the day. I embrace the new work with gusto. Because how nice it is that I can go home a little earlier in the afternoon to pick up my child and then in the evening catch up to that hour. And my clients also work throughout the day. They too, regularly sit in the evening typing an e-mail to me. We still tune in a bit and so the business does not suffer from our flexible working time. In short, the ideal life of this changing digital age. But without me knowing, I read my e-mail right after waking up. During breakfast I have already read most of the emails and I know exactly what my calendar looks like. In between I check LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and so on. And so slowly the last thing I do on the day is to quickly have a look at my mobile. In the meantime, I am literally “on” all day. I live in a fog of half present and half in my mobile. I wanted that to change. I decided: on Wednesday I’m offline. Ok, I have to admit…. It’s pretty scary to turn off my phone. Because what do I do in that “empty” time? How do my friends and customers respond to a late response? Don’t I miss out? I still regularly catch myself with my phone in my hand. That automatic reaction is deep-rooted. And as it turns out, the reactions are very positive! Around me I hear a growing sound of people who also crave to be equally out of online and reachable. Just get back to yourself and have a good book. Or puzzling with the kids. Because yes, my daughter also participates in Offline Wednesday. In a world that is further digitising, I think it is important to give her an example in this. Together we are having a blast on Wednesday. We have quality time again and especially an eye for each other.
“ring, ring”… my phone rings… I look at my daughter and she says, it’s Wednesday, Mom! 😉