Unplug! Literally turn off devices. Hide them in drawers. Put covers over them. If you must use a phone or ipad as a “timer” make sure it’s set to airplane mode.
The privacy and silence of your retreat experience far outweighs any niggling justifications you may come up with for staying connected.
One reason many of us choose to retreat is to give ourselves a break from our addictive behavior patterns with our phones and computers. Some of us have never been offline for even a day since first purchasing whatever devices we’ve come to rely on.
Self-retreat is an opportunity to be with just you. No one else. It’s a date with yourself. Respect that choice.
And not to worry, when you meditate you’re bound to have plenty of conversations in your head. You really won’t feel lonely. Thoughts will chatter away keeping you company as you make an effort to focus on the breath or whatever your contemplation object is.
But the gift of self retreat is that you give your psyche, body, mind, space to just be. To be here on the planet with out communication with others. This is your cave, your top of the mountain, your island. Enjoy it.