It doesn’t happen often, but our cell phones let us down. Screens crack, updates don’t work, and charges don’t last. We put so much reliability into our phones that when they let us down, we end up panicking and not knowing what to do.
Several months ago my phone decided to stop working. I did an update on my iPhone 7 and a few days after, my phone seemed to no longer receive a cell signal. I could use it on WiFi but if I was off of it, it was essentially a useless block.
This happened the night before a holiday and the Apple store wasn’t open the following day. I was stuck without a phone for at least 24 hours.
Initially, I thought I was going to miss texts, Snapchat notifications, Instagram, no about fantasy football, no calls. How could I get through the next few days without a working phone? What if I needed to go somewhere and needed directions or something happened? How would I make a call?
After the first few hours, things started to set in and I began to realize just how attached I was to my phone. I found myself tapping the screen to see if any notifications came in. I found myself bringing it everywhere in the house. I brought it everywhere with me even though I knew all of the features it offered weren’t working.
This resulted in a bit of a revelation. Why did I need my phone to be directly next to me or in my hand all the time? How was I able to do this before? Was it always like this?
I began to just leave my phone in another room to try to wean myself off of this gadget that has engrained themselves in our everyday lives. In a few hours, I was feeling myself breaking free saying “don’t check it. You don’t need it.” It sounds ridiculous to say about a phone but it’s true. Think about the last time you went somewhere and didn’t have your cell phone? Think of the last time you went more than 30 minutes without looking at it or using it?
We’re so addicted to our phones that checking it every 15 minutes is part of our routine. The weekly screentime stats are eye-opening to see just how much time is spent on my phone. Granted, sometimes it’s for work, watching videos, or talking on the phone, but all that time adds up.
After my 24-hour challenge was over, I went to Apple, got the iPhone 10XR, and felt like a drug addict who just scored a big one. I dove right into my phone and checked everything I thought I’d missed over the past day and a half. Even though I could and did check things on my computer, it felt like I was whole again now that I had my phone.
After about a minute passed, I lowered my phone and looked at myself in my rearview mirror. I thought, hmm, what an interesting past day and a half it was without my phone. Did I need to ravage through every app on my phone just because I could again? No, this was an experience that I can learn from and take note of in the future.
If I’m bored, I don’t need to pick up my phone to see what SOMEONE ELSE is doing. I can open a book. I can go for a walk. I can clean my house. I can organize my closet. There are an infinite amount of things I can do that don’t require my phone or technology.
Although it felt like I was going through withdrawals without the actual side-effects, it was an alarming experience to see just how much time I spent on and with my phone.
A Simple Task
My challenge for you is to go a day without your phone and see how it feels. Do you find yourself reaching for it every few minutes? Do you wonder what’s happening in the world around you and if something big happened and you’re the only one who doesn’t know?
Try to wean yourself off of your phone or electronic that you spend too much time on. I always knew I spent a little too much time with my phone but didn’t realize how bad it was. There’s a whole world out that if we don’t stop to lower our phone, will flash before our eyes. Don’t even get me started on social media…