When reading this title, some of you may have been relieved at the thought of ditching your phone for something more fulfilling, and others might not yet see the value. Either way, you all feel at least the slightest tinge of discomfort at the thought of going sans-phone, no matter the entertainment substitutes we list below, right? The intriguing thing is that each of these events seem like simple pursuits, but when was the last time you did something simple, and new, and truly experienced it 100%? Phones are great for convenience and ease of mundane tasks like updating statuses and checking email, but getting too ensnared in the lure of social media and iPhone photography causes you to look beyond the raw enjoyment of even your most favorite activities, and think to the future—what will I say when I post about this? Who can I tell I’m doing this now?—rather than staying in the present moment. Besides, 99% of what we do on our phones isn’t even something we personally enjoy anyway, scrolling through feeds without finding anything interesting, refreshing email even when we’re not obligated to stress over a given task—once you ditch the phone and get through the first hour of withdrawls, you’ll find that you really FEEL the experience in which you’re in. And when you think back on it later? You recall the details, not just some blurred few hours of inattention.
Three different schedules (or three different nights), for those of you that need structure…
6pm – Dinner at a new restaurant, one you come across in the neighborhood of the show you’ll see post-meal… One that you didn’t find on Instagram and Yelp beforehand, but one that you + your date happen across and agree that looks good.
730pm – A quick stroll to a local theatre. If you live in a small town, you’ll be familiar with it. If you live in a big city like Los Angeles, it’s easy to find an entirely new place to enjoy a production like you’ve never seen before. If the spot is nearby, kill some time by walking an unfamiliar route or stopping at the park beforehand. You won’t be talking during the show, so now’s a good time to wrap up conversation lingering from dinner.
8pm – The night’s activity, whether a play, comedy night, film screening… I’ll leave it up to you.
A dinner party can go so many ways. Are you a natural hostess? If so, the day leading up to the main event is already another phone-free activity: prepping and creating something beautiful and delicious for friends. Not you? Invite guests to join you for a potluck style meal. (Because we know what you’re thinking… If you want to blog about it, write out your recipe and take some photos of your work, but then put the camera and phone away for the evening, it isn’t about that.)
6pm – Meal prep and table setting
730pm – Guests arrive. Play mixologist and offer up your own signature cocktail, or mix up personalized drinks.
8pm – Sit down to dinner. Don’t forget dessert!
Post meal social hour – All you need are good people, good music, and would you believe it? Good conversation – in real life – with the very people that surround you!
If you’re looking for some solo time rather than date night or a gathering, here’s another great phone-less eve.
7pm – Dinner solo at your fave casual café. If you tend to get bored and mindlessly scroll through insta when you’re on a solo errand in public, this is the ultimate challenge. Bring a journal with you for added security and to jot down thoughts.
8pm – Stop by the local market for accoutrements… No one to compromise with here! Go for your faves… Wine and cheese is always an inspired choice.
By 9 you’ll be ready to pop in that new indie film or if you’re not in the mood to scroll through the selections, check out this Amazon + Netflix watch list. The point here being that you watch something NEW that requires your attention… Because you’ll be ready to give it!
Struggling with the desire to check that home screen for notifications every five seconds, or just want to make the evening a little more robust? Options for non-phone scrolling activities include painting your nails (pre-second glass of wine, of course), painting canvas, or coloring a masterpiece via an adult coloring book. Just things that definitely don’t pull your attention, and energy, in too many directions.
When’s the last time you went phone-free?