Q is for Quiet

You might remember when, a few weeks ago, I blogged about my addiction to all things social media. Well, since then I’ve done something sort of revolutionary.

Something sort of… crazy.

Are you sure you’re ready for this?



No, really!


Not long ago, when I was working to complete a pretty intense revision, I turned my phone to vibrate. All of the pings and chirps and rings were a majorย distraction and, quite frankly, they were driving me nuts. Predictably, I was able get a hell of a lot more revising done — a hell of a lot quicker — without having to stop and fiddle with calls and emails and texts. Imagine that!

Unpredictably, the self-imposed break from social media (and the demands of constant communication in general) turned out to be something of a relief.

I never could have guessed how freeing it would be to check my email and Twitter and Google Reader when I felt like it, NOT every time my phone summoned me. Instead of answering calls and getting tied with a chat, I listened to voicemails and returned calls when I had time to give friends and family my full attention. Iย replied to texts and emails when I had a few spare moments, rather than dropping everything (or pausing in my revising) to key out immediate responses. ย I let myself surf Pinterest and Facebook during lunchtime (and only after my daughter finished eating and left the table). It was… really nice, and even though my revision is since complete, my phone is still set to vibrate.

And you know what? I think it’ll stay that way for awhile.

Have you ever hushed YOUR phone?


30 thoughts on “Q is for Quiet

  1. Ciara Knight says:

    I laughed when I saw you title come through on email this morning. I blogged the same thing for Q. Of course, Q is a limiting letter. ๐Ÿ™‚ I keep my phone on silent because noise agitates me at times. You’re right, it is freeing not to listen to that all day. Sometimes we are too connected.

  2. kford2007 says:

    All the time! I wish I could turn off the voices in my head sometimes, too, but they won’t leave me alone. Something about a book they want me to write. Geez. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Elodie says:

    I also put my phone on silence – but I sometimes check to see if the green light blinks to let me know I have emails.
    When I really want to be drastic and test my will, I turn it off (that usually doesn’t last very long though :D)…
    And you are so right, letting go sometimes can be a relief, the social media should be on our schedule not the opposite (I should probably frame that as a reminder to myself! :D)

  4. Erin Bowman (@erin_bowman) says:

    My iphone has been on silent for over a year. I NEVER have it ring or bing or alert me unless I *know* an important call/email is coming in, and that’s rarely. I just hate that noise–how I feel I need to check what bit of news has come in IMMEDIATELY. So I just have it quiet. And I check my email on my own several times a day anyway. I think only once or twice has something important happened and I didn’t respond for a few hours. And even then, a few hours is manageable. (I mean, remember when people didn’t even have answering machines?! And you just had to keep calling back til you caught them?! Craziness) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    But good for you, Katy. I hope the silent treatment works out for you.

    • katyupperman says:

      No answering machines?! Unbelievable!

      Really, it is hard to fathom how disconnected we all used to be, even just a few years ago before the time of internet-capable cell phones. In so many ways we’re better off, but I can’t help but miss the slightly simpler times sometimes too.

  5. Alison Miller says:

    Wellll…I have to silence my phone during the day and I even keep it in a drawer (on silent) during my planning time so that I can get work done, and then I’ll try to save twenty minutes to catch up on emails, etc.

    BUT, when I’m revising, I usually try to go in a room AWAY from my phone. Otherwise, I would be like you, moving through revisions at a glacier pace.

    Also, please keep silencing so you can revise. Alison is suffering Max withdrawals. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Ghenet Myrthil says:

    I do this all the time. I hate all the noises my phone makes when messages come in so I got rid of them all. I’d rather just check when I have the chance (which ends up being all the time…I need to stop checking so often!) I agree – the quiet is nice. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • katyupperman says:

      Definitely. I don’t have my phone set to do push notifications or alert me to any social media, and the freedom is wonderful. (I’m still obsessed with Instagram, though!)

  7. Rebecca B says:

    All the time. I am the last person on Earth to use a phone w/o internet and email. I know myself–and I’d never get anything done if I was getting email notifications 24/7. I’m already attached at the hip to my laptop. I am going to finally upgrade my phone this summer, though, so I’ll have to remember this advice.

  8. Jaime Morrow says:

    This is a really good idea. I feel sometimes like I’ve become a slave to my Blackberry. I love getting comments on my blog, and now that my phone alerts me to new comments I feel like I’m just sitting there waiting for it to ding. Pathetic, I know. It is pretty freeing to just step away from it all for a bit. Even yesterday when I wasn’t feeling well, that little bit of a break from the blogs, Twitter, and so on was kind of a relief (as much as I love all of the blog and Twitter crowd).

  9. elschneider says:

    My phones are always set to vibrate – but mostly because, while it’s considered strange to NOT bring your phone with you to all your meetings here at my office, it’s still considered rude, for it to ring in the middle of said meeting.
    And when I write? Yeah, my phone stays downstairs. It’s nice to take a break away from being so connected!

    • katyupperman says:

      Writing (rewriting, for me!) has become a more productive time since I’ve set my phone to vibrate. It’s amazing how distracting that little device can be!

  10. katharineowens says:

    This is inspiring Katy. I often turn my phone off (or somehow forget it)… but I need to work on not checking email constantly and keeping the internet turned off until I’m ready. :0)

  11. Yahong says:

    That sounds like it’d be such a tremendous relief! I don’t get enough calls (yet) that it’d make much of an impact, but I suspect that once you graduate to an adult, this tactic is priceless. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • katyupperman says:

      Well, it’s not as if I’m a brain surgeon getting life-or-death calls all the time. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mostly, it’s either my husband, my mom, or a girlfriend trying to arrange a playdate on the line. Usually nothing worth the distraction the calls bring (though I love my husband, my mom, and my friends!).

    • katyupperman says:

      Oh, my laptop is *almost* as demanding. It’s just more cumbersome, so I don’t drag it around with me often. My phone, on the other hand, is pretty much always in my bag.

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