The process of communication involves exchange, back and forth. It’s what much of our current communication is lacking: why calling someone and getting their voicemail or posting updates online without an exchange of ideas can feel flat.
I was feeling this flatness a few years ago.
I'd just watched a documentary with a scene of a priest conducting a blessing service for smart phones. Here was a person, dressed in holy vestments, calling on the God of the Universe to bless a Blackberry. Blessing blackberries - actual harvested food - to our bodies’ use, would have been one thing, but blessing a Blackberry - a piece of glass, metal, and plastic designed to speed our lives to the brink of exhaustion - was quite another. I found myself asking: could this phone be a blessing? Could it be blessed?
I was already in at a place in my life where I had grown tired of the web mediating my relationships, like missing a friend visiting Toronto because she’d posted to my Facebook wall and I hadn’t checked it in time. It felt like a kick in the stomach that she hadn't put in more effort to see me. As a student of communication and media professional, I was keyed in to noticing how I was guilty of the same kinds of passive behaviour.
I felt like the Internet was making me lazy as a thinker, and a writer, and a friend.
I decided to fast from the Internet for 31 days.
It was here I discovered an abundance of time I never thought I had. I experienced peace, a quietness of mind, I had been hungering for. I found connection with neighbours, strangers and friends, because I was forced to turn to people (Like the day I locked my baby and my keys inside the house. Yup, that happened.) rather than Google for help.
I was figuring out how to flourish in a smartphone world.
I decluttered my inbox, implemented a weekly tech sabbath and culled the list of people I follow.
I deepened my relationships.
I reclaimed time and space.
I reconnected to my body and my heart.
I got things done.
I presented a TEDx talk and wrote a book about it.
The average North American spends over 120 minutes a day on social media. That adds up to nearly 5.5 years over a lifetime. What could we be doing with that time? Who is it for? Does it align with our values? Is it time well spent?
Here's why spending time well matters so much to me:
I will never forget the day during my Internet fast that I chose to call my grandma. My grandma helped raised me in the years when my mom was a single parent. I remember Grandma perched in her flower-print armchair with a pot of potatoes in her lap every afternoon while we watched Disney cartoons. I remember the smell of her double-buttered french toast before school and the taste of swiss cheese crackers after. I remember the feel of her polyester dresses and the sound of her voice welcoming us home from the front porch. Calling my grandma during my digital detox, painted a fresh splash of colour on my white-walled heart.
She passed away later that year. I will never regret calling my grandma. Never.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
- Annie Dillard
JOMO IS THE JOY OF MISSING OUT on the right things.
When our values and time spent online align, we flourish. When they don't, we flounder. At JOMO, we work to help you bring them into alignment so you can thrive in a digital world.
You love the work that you do but you want to set boundaries so you can live your life.
You want to create your best work without comparing it online.
You love your family and friends and want to give your best to your relationships.
You want to stop numbing out and start showing up in life.
i WANT TO HELP YOU GET THERE.
You can reclaim time and space to live your life.
You can reduce stress and overwhelm, beginning today.
You can increase focus and accelerate productivity, leaving you more time for hobbies, relationships and passion projects.
You can deepen your spiritual life as you embrace silence and solitude.
You can live with clarity and purpose.
You can live a bigger life with more joy. The good life is right there for the making.