So, I did it! I abstained from 2 things that I decided I would give up for January. What 2 luxuries did i forgo for 31 long dark rainy days? And what effect did it have. Not alcohol, I never understood why you need to make January more depressing by depriving yourself of the liquor.

The first thing i gave up was something that has been annoying me for a long old time, the “smart” phone. Ironic because i think it makes you pretty dumb.

I reinstated the brick into my life! How I have missed thee. It’s been about 5 years since the “smart” phone was forced upon me. Like many of us it seemed like such an innocent upgrade at the time, I had admired my friends “smart”-phones from afar, but with some trepidation, “what’s wrong with the brick?”, “what the bleep is an app?”



But I was clearly missing out, they had this thing called a “Whatsapp group”, where social events were organised, this was the thing that finally forced me into having one. The Whatsapp group turned more into me just watching messages fly back and forth between my friends, i’ve always been more of a voyeur (in a non pervy way i hasten to add) in social situations.

Anyway, back to the present. There were obstacles in my way to getting the brick back, firstly whatsapp has become the de-facto way of communicating over the last few years and i must admit is pretty useful if a little annoying at times. I’m not sure we need some of the added features it gives you over the text message really, I find the blue ticks just initiate irritation at a lack of response and the last seen/online feature is info i’m just not sure we need, do we?

Anyway, so i managed to download a desktop version of whatsapp which allowed me to use it on a computer, haha, in your face society! Unfortunately i can’t fully dispose of the precious because in order to access whatsapp you need to keep your smart phone on and connected to wifi, so it now sits on my desk at work under a pile of paperwork, lurking like a little electronic dictator.

It’s so interesting and almost a rule that in life luxuries become necessities

It’s so interesting and almost a rule that in life luxuries become necessities, I think the number one thing that i have got used to with the “smart” phone is being able to find my way to places using maps. I have stopped using the part of my brain which needs to figure out a route somewhere and just type in the post code and follow the directions. My girlfriend and I went shopping to Ashford the other day without a map or a phone and granted it did take us probably an hour longer than it otherwise would of done but we used the grey matter and get this, we got to ask someone for directions! We commented that that is surely a rarity nowadays.

The only other slightly tricky thing about ditching the “smart”phone was that i like spotify, the discovery part of it is so cool but i can still use it on my laptop and i am bringing my old friend the ipod back into play! Also, the camera feature is useful, but i’ve decided on a radical way of taking photos, im going to buy a camera!

The second thing i gave up was meat! I have long been a carnivore and i do like a challenge, i didn’t realise veganuary was a thing, but i did veguary if we must give everything a stupid name.

I think the primary reason for doing this was meat production is really bad for the planet and secondly the older i get, the less i like the idea of eating things that were alive basically, even though they do taste really good.

I think this would have been more of a challenge had i not been bought an Indian cookbook and a spice tiffin for Christmas, did you know 31% of Indians are vegetarians? Their definition of veggies is not having eggs and fish in your diet either (i didn’t adhere to that)

I won’t bore you too much with the details of the month and the flatulence that followed a strictly vegetarian diet but the bottom line was being a vegetarian was surprisingly easy, my one moment of weakness coming when my full English was replaced with veg sausages and just a white space where the bacon should have been.

My lunch

In summary, both being a vegetarian and giving up the “smart”phone were both pretty easy with a few minor irritations and a big sense that i could control my life more than i thought possible, these things we think as necessary just aren’t and when we dispose of them it gives us more time to notice other things that got missed.

You need something to explore in place of the thing that you given up

When you remove something from your life i think you need to see the reason why you are doing it and have something to explore in its place which interests you (ying and yang?). Remove meat, explore Indian cooking… Remove electronic dictator, embrace old technology…You need something to explore in place of the thing that you given up

Thanks for reading, let us know what you have given up or would like to give up, and what you learned from it x

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