Over the past two weeks I survived without a phone. That means for two weeks I experienced the joy and struggle in living without a device that keeps me constantly connected to the world around me. But I didn't choose this of my own accord, it just kind of happened. To make a long story short, my phone was killed by the salt water in Florida thanks to a faulty iPhone case that claimed to be water proof. That's not the point of this post though, so without further ado here's what I learned:
Feeling like a kid again
The joy in living without a phone is the simplicity of life. I didn't have to worry about filling awkward silences in life with fumbling through the apps on my phone. I didn't have to worry about interrupting my life to tell the world in 140 characters or less about something that doesn't even really matter. I didn't have to worry about taking pictures of the food I ate, the shoes I was wearing or the sun setting. Instead I got to enjoy those small parts of life with those people I love in person.
I really loved not having to worry about these things. Seriously. I enjoy dealing with silence and figuring out what to do about it. When I'm not distracted by what everyone else is doing it gives me a chance to do something unique. I could read a book. I could go for a walk. I could do a million other things and no one else has to know about it. It reminds me of when I was a kid and all I had to rely on for fun was my imagination.
It's Still Tough
As much as I celebrate the fact that I survived without a phone for two weeks, it was still difficult living day-to-day life. Probably the most challenging part was the lack of communication I had with my wife during the day. Apart from instant messages and emails when I was working, I didn't have any way to contact her until I got home.
Without a phone it's easy to feel disconnected from your friends. But I feel it actually forced me to be even more intentional with those closest to me. I was still able to find ways to connect with those close relationships I have here at home and a few states away. It may not have been as easy as a push of the button on speed dial, but at least I was able to talk to them.
The first few days of not having my phone were the most difficult. But the longer I went without it the more peace I felt about not having my phone. I was totally disconnected from everything and it was great.
Something to think about
If I have learned anything these past two weeks it would have to be this: I have given technology way too much attention in the past. Meaning, instead of just living in the moment and enjoying memories as they happen I've been consumed with capturing that moment and sharing it with the world. But what does that really profit me? What's the point of sharing memories with a thousand other people if you can't enjoy them with the few you're with in the moment?