I’ve been taking morning walks and leaving my phone at home. Yes, it sounds radical. I know. When did I become so attached to a piece of plastic and wiring?
Today was the third day I made my morning walk and the first day on which I felt finally released from “phone-thinking”. Or “social media thinking”. Someone wise has probably got a name for this and has written about it very cleverly, but here’s my take.
I don’t use social media while I’m out walking. I’m not one of those people who walks around with their head in their phone. But I am one of those people who has got so used to having a phone camera nearby and reaching for it every chance they get.
That perfect lighting, that pearly cover or dew on the thistle down. The moment when the wind goes perfectly still and the bay reflects the sky and the yellowing, red trees. The waterfowls staring cheekily across the path at passers-by. Somehow all of this has become public property. It has a perfect sheen of an Instagram filter. Some of us may even get as real as #nofilter.
And this isn’t an accusation. I enjoy sharing my bit of the world with my friends far away. I have friends in countries who never get Autumn, or snow or see an annoying swan. I myself enjoy seeing nature I’ve never actually seen and might never do. Seeing other people’s craft projects and following their travels or the growth of their families.
It’s rather an observation that I had moved into a mental assumption that restricted my observation of the world. Photos always have a focus. They are not often moments captured but moments selected. But what about your peripheral vision? The one that activates your imagination as it takes in colours and shapes and mucks the waters under your unconscious.
I’m going to keep practicing on this. A whole hour per day spent entirely in my own company. It sounds scary, but also very productive.
Ironically, it was social media that made me leave my phone at home. An app that suggests me positive activities daily, suggested that I simplify one action. And that’s how I chose to leave my phone at home.