So I gave up my cell phone yesterday. It was making me miserable, anxious and more connected and accessible than I needed to be and felt comfortable with. It may be a temporary move, it may be permanent. Only time will tell.
Remember a time when we didn’t have cell phones? A time when folks would sit at the dinner table or the coffee shop and actually engage with each other? I mean engaging intentionally and actively, not furtively glancing at tiny screens while trying to seem conversational. Yes, I remember them. And in retrospect, they were special times. #nostalgic.
Of late, I’ve been examining my attachment to my iPhone and how it was altering me in small, subtle ways. I was concerned about how being constantly connected to the device and the interwebs created a level of anxiety in me in I didn’t appreciate. I’d sleep with my phone on the bed and would not leave the house without it, even for a few minutes. And I’d feel anxious if I was not connected to a charging device when the battery ran low. I was also secretly becoming disgusted with friends and family who were losing their ability to engage and conversate because it seemed like the tiny screen in their hands held more appeal than their companions in the same room. It seems like we are more connected but less engaged. Does that make sense?
You know, it’s kinda sad to see how we’ve become as a society. Sometimes moving like zombies, heads down, eyes glued, fixated to a screen. We are driven to capture photos we’d rarely look at instead of just embracing the moment and being present in the making of the memories we capture.
A cell phone is a useful tool, but when it starts to feel like an appendage, perhaps it’s time to examine one’s relationship with the device. I’ve also been resenting the fact that anyone could interrupt my life and day with the touch of a few keys. Maybe I’m getting older or I’m turning into a hermit (they said I probably would) but these days I’m fierce about guarding my space and my energy.
So I am untethering.
Will it affect my life? I’m sure it will. Will folks be pissed off at their inability to reach me? Probably. Will it affect my business? Perhaps. Am I being impulsive and naive? Maybe. But my head and personal space is premium to me these days, above all else. I don’t need to be constantly accessible to the whim or fancy of everyone who has my contact. I don’t need to be so dependent and connected to a device either. #imgoingcoldturkey
For business, email and my landline will have to suffice. Skype and messenger are also available, too. Friends can call the landline or chat with me on my desktop’s messenger. Home visits are also welcome.
I want to be out and be in the moment. I want to engage with my environment and others in a meaningful and involved way. I don’t want the anxiety that I’ve recently been experiencing by the connectedness that comes from a device that makes me so accessible to anyone, and the need to be constantly monitoring every ping or call.
Lot’s of people do well without a cell phone. I’m not against them and I’m not pushing an agenda. I’m only sharing a decision I’ve come to. My life does not look like anyone else’s so it’s important that I find my balance and comfort in all areas. Each day I strive to be active and intentional in creating a lifestyle and groove that works for me. This step is just part of the process.
Do feel free to keep your cell phone. Your lifestyle may require it. Just don’t forget to look up and live and be in the moment 🙂
This experiment lasted about 3 weeks. It was a good way to challenge myself and I was able to make changes that allowed me to use my cell phone is a more productive and less anxiety-inducing way.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2018.