Running a website, it goes without saying that I’m on my phone a lot. But if ever there was a time to put down the phone and focus on the present, it’s during the holidays. And this year my amazing phone company TELUS challenged me and a few of my friends to put down our phones and enjoy catching up on life at a festive lunch as we entered “Holiday Mode.”
The mission was simple. All our phones went in the middle of the table and were off limits until the end of the meal. And as a reward for shutting off and catching up, TELUS footed the bill! I headed out with a few of the fellow mothers that I visit with at the boys’ activities and prepared for some tech-free quality time!
Now I have to admit that I didn’t expect to have any problem with the challenge. While I do use my phone often, I don’t have any qualms about leaving it at home when I leave the house, even if I’m out most of the day. As a result, I didn’t expect to mind leaving it in the middle of the table either. But I soon realized that when my phone is right in front of me, not grabbing it randomly is a lot harder!
I also realized that even though my friends and I have great conversations, we’ve gotten into the habit of grabbing our phones and flipping through notifications when the conversation lulls. Entering Holiday Mode meant that instead of filling occasional silence with phone checking, we had to focus on finding other topics to discuss. And as a result, we actually had a much more interesting conversation than usual!
With plenty of family visiting coming up shortly for me, I plan on entering Holiday Mode many more times throughout the Christmas season. I have to admit that I really like the freedom of not worrying about what’s happening online. That’s probably partly why I sometimes like leaving my phone at home but even when it’s in my pocket, leaving it alone while visiting is a great feeling!
Technology is such an important part of our lives and it’s certainly something that I love. My smartphone lets me stay connected with friends and family no matter where I am and is an essential tool for running my business as well. But remembering to set it aside and enjoy time with loved ones is just as important, and I’m so happy that TELUS helped remind my friends and me of that fact. Follow the #HolidayMode hashtag on Twitter to see how others are doing, then challenge yourself to enter Holiday Mode over Christmas and celebrate being with the people you care about!