I have been traveling internationally this week. While I know it is quite possible to set up my iPhone to work for a reasonable cost while abroad, I have generally avoided doing so. I put my device into airplane mode when I got on the plane, and have had it in airplane mode since. I have my laptop with me, and I got the WiFi working in my hotel room (and the airport and so forth) and so I have had email access. It has just not been constant. I haven’t had the ability to surf the web randomly as a way to pass the time.
On the whole, it has been quite nice. I found myself paying more attention to things, and to conversations. I have read fewer Brangelina divorce stories than I might have, but that is not a bad thing. The infrequent email checking has led to some problems. Among them: I haven’t actually gotten through all my messages. I try to get back to people within 3 days, and right now there are some 9-10 day backlogs. This means I will be responding to many things with “My apologies for the delay…” My fourth grader did not get to do his math homework this week because the log-in credentials for the website came to me, and that message got buried in the heap. But he went into school with a note, and I think it was OK.
Life with a smart phone means it is very, very easy to fill any spot of boredom with a quick check of…anything. Email, social media, headlines. We then complain of feeling like we have no time. But a lot of this is self-inflicted. Life will carry on whether those headlines get checked or not. Living in airplane mode is a good way to recapture some minutes and focus that would otherwise get chopped up.