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Your Weekend Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It


Things have been busy at the house this week. In an effort to make the weekends count, I have made a conscious effort to put my phone on silent and not look at it AT ALL for one day out of the weekend. THAT....is your mission.

Sound like torture? If it does, then you are exactly the person I am talking to. No video games, email, texts, phone calls, habitual phone checking, or anything of the like. It's hard.

But Mark, what if I need to.....?

When I recommended a moratorium on smart phone use to my friends, I received the question above (in several different forms.) What if I have to make a phone call? What if I have to take a photo? What if I need to make myself a note/reminder?

My answer: Before you pull your phone out of your pocket, ask yourself how else you could execute the task you are about to engage in if there were no smart phones. Here are a couple of tips to make this mission not only tolerable, but somewhat enjoyable.

1. Get A Pocket Notebook and a Pen

In fairness, I drafted this list in the morning before my one-day phonecation, and "pocket notebook" was not on my list. I tend to have ideas for things to do, people to follow up with, and crazy things to do with my family during the day. During our trip to the grocery store, I realized that my only method of taking notes was to put them in my phone. Nope. Went to the school supply isle, grabbed a pocket composition book and a pen, and started using it to write notes. I wrote in it before I even paid for it and carried it with me the rest of the day.

Bonus: Instead of playing with my phone in the shopping cart, my youngest daughter had a great time drawing with my newly acquired pen. Use your pen to draw a picture.

2. Buy A Disposable Camera

This was pretty neat. The drug store has disposable cameras for under $10.00. The kind of camera that has film in it. The kind without a picture window on the back. What do you need a disposable camera for? Just for fun. Take some photos, or better yet, go do something photo worthy.

Bonus: Take them to get developed. Surreal experience, and tons of fun. Way better than having pictures backlogged on your phone.

3. Listen To The Radio

Not Pandora. The radio. Don't have one? You can buy a travel alarm clock with radio at most stores for $5.00 - $10.00. Find a station and tune in.

Bonus: Call in to the station for a contest. Bet you haven't done that in a while.

4. Call Someone From A Payphone

Emergency? Or maybe an "emergency." There is a difference. Or maybe you just want to win a radio contest (see number 3). Find a payphone and call someone. Call a friend or family member and tell them you are calling from a payphone. Inspire them to take a phonecation as well.

Bonus: Ask them to stop by your house for a cup of coffee, or tell them you are stopping over to drop something off (bring something). Stay and have a conversation. Leave your phone in your pocket.

5. Schedule a Time To Meet Someone

Tell someone you are going to meet them somewhere at a certain time and do it without the use of your phone. Use your watch. No watch? Ask someone what time it is. You will get a bewildered look.

Bonus: If your day brings you somewhere that has an intercom (mall, grocery store, etc.) have someone paged. It's sort of fun and silly.

This will be way harder than you think. You will have the urge to take your phone out of your pocket for no apparent reason at least once every half hour. Fight the urge and do something more constructive.

Overall, your goal is to take the day and experience it with your own two eyes. Make it an adventure. Make it a family challenge for a day. See who cracks first. Comment below and let us know how it went. Share this post with your friends and see how they do!


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