Life Without My Phone
Jul 23, 2018
A few weeks ago I got away and turned my phone off for 5 days. For 5 days I didn't text anybody, I didn’t email anybody, I didn’t talk to anybody, I didn’t check Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, nothing. My phone was off. The big question people have been asking me is, “What was it like?” So let me share my experience:
- When I first learned I was going to have to turn my phone off I actually felt anxious! Then I had to remind myself, there was a day when I didn't even have a cell phone and when I went off to camp the only way I could communicate was through letters. And when I spent a summer in the jungles of Brazil I didn't have a phone... and I survived! So, I determined I would be ok and that I would live. :)
- When the day came to turn off my phone, I found myself calling and texting people to say bye. I was sending reminders to people and last minute thoughts. Not to be disrespectful or make light of, but I felt how I imagine someone would feel when their life comes to an end - The only thing that mattered was people. Not social media, but people. I had to ask myself the question that if people are what matter the most, how am I investing in them? Or do I spend more time on social media? (Something I’m processing as I have returned home)
- When the moment came to turn my phone off, it felt like a spaceship door was closing. I was all of a sudden cut off from the outside world... I stood there for a moment and then started engaging with the people around me.
- It took me about 2 1/2 days to stop thinking about texting or posting on social media. Something would happen and I would want to text somebody and tell them about it, but I couldn’t, so I had to just stay in the moment. It’s crazy how my phone was off, but my mind was still in active phone mode.
- I would want to take a picture and think "I need to send this to family and friends!" But I couldn’t. Or, when I did take some pictures, I realized I could send them after I got home. What's interesting is that when I couldn’t send the pictures right away, I didn’t take as many pictures, and again, I stayed in the moment.
- Another reality was when there was downtime or a lull, I would reach for my phone. When you don’t have a phone, you sit quietly and dream about the future. You observe what is going on around you. Or maybe you read or journal or talk to somebody. I know I engaged in more conversations because I didn’t have my phone. There were times we were all sitting around talking and I knew if we had our phones we would all be on them to some extent.
- I felt like my mind was at peace. It wasn’t racing and processing so much information. I could hear God’s voice clearer and there was an ease of dreaming and thinking. I wasn’t comparing my life to others and I wasn’t tempted to judge what others were doing. It was awesome!
- 5 days later when we could turn our phones on, I was a little anxious. And as I turned it on it began to blow up with notifications. I just had to put it down! When I did pick it up to read some texts, I had only read a couple but I had to put my phone back down. I was a little overwhelmed by all the information coming at me. Again, family and friends are the most important thing, and those were the people I wanted to hear from.
- The first night we were back in Dallas, the family I was staying with had some friends over and my sister drove from Houston to see me. When I went off to bed, I realized that I hadn't touched my phone one time to see if somebody had texted me. I was completely in the moment, talking and laughing and sharing with those around me. I loved it.
- So now what? I have my phone back and I am on social media, but I do want to live in the moment and not be documenting everything all the time. I want to have conversations with people and make them feel important and not be texting while they are talking or looking at my phone. I want to have times when it is turned off and my mind is at ease. I want to spend more time with my Heavenly Father and hear what He is saying to me. I want to get good sleep. I want to be emotionally healthy and physically healthy. So to do all I want to do, I need to spend less time on my phone.
So let me know in the comments what you think about this whole phone thing. :)
Cheers to turning off our phones,
PS - There is a great book called 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You I would recommend! The link is below.