I’ve been ‘cell’ phoneless for about 6 weeks now. I recently wrote about not using a cell phone and since then lots of people have been asking me ‘how its going’. As much as I appreciate the interest, it seems like so many of us have forgotten what life has been like when we didn’t have constant ‘connection’. It really wasn’t that long ago when we didn’t have cell phones. When we weren’t connected in an instant with a text message and didn’t know what all of our Facebook or Twitter ‘friends’ were doing with the flip of a button.
The truth is I’m loving it, I’m more efficient, more connected (if you could imagine), less interrupted and enjoying not having a cell phone. Which is why I decided to write down 5 tips in 5 minutes on going phoneless.
Top 5 Tips in 5 Minutes
We all know what it’s like to have our phone next to our bed, take it to the bathroom with us, pick it up in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning and more times than we can count throughout the day. At least for me, with constant emails and multiple social media notifications my mind was cluttered, I didn’t realize how much until I went without a phone for a couple days.
I found myself with less stress not thinking about all the things I have to get done. The Facebook message or comment to answer, the email someone is waiting for a response to and someone else’s perspective and opinion when I share my own thoughts.
Without a doubt mental clarity has been the biggest benefit of going phoneless.
Without multiple interruptions throughout the day from every aspect possible, it’s no question I’m more efficient, get more things done and even have spare time.
There are TONS of ways to contact people, seriously, TONS. I found that out as soon as I didn’t turn my phone on (or get a new one) a couple weeks in. Social media, FaceTime, Skype…did you know you can actually call locally for free through gmail?
That’s right, the ways to contact and ‘stay connected’ are unlimited even without a phone.
Talking to Someone
This is becoming more of a lost art, more than we know. Again I didn’t notice how little I actually talked to someone on the phone until I had to pick it up and call because I couldn’t text. I actually talk to family more, there is less time wasted by calling for 5 minutes instead of being involved in a 25 min text conversation.
I always think about kids when a subject like this comes up. What’s going to happen to our youth when they aren’t able to have a conversation. Do they do job interviews through text messages now?
Without interruptions, without constant communication, without every notification possible going off, I focus more. Did you know we are actually and literally conditioned to be interrupted. It’s true. When I’m in the middle of a project I’d actually stop and look for my phone; if it was next to me I’d look at it without even hearing a notification. This is scary to me and something I’m happy I no longer have to worry about.
It’s kind of funny when I tell someone I don’t have a cell phone, I usually get a blank stare. People literally don’t know what to say. Then I get an odd look, which is basically a giant question mark on their face or an awkward laugh.
Most of us couldn’t even think about spending the day without our phones, but if you could, just for a moment, you’d realize how important it is to actually call someone, how texting wastes time (along with checking your newsfeed every 6 minutes), how putting down technology for even moments can make you feel FREE not less connected.
And finally, appreciating someone that’s standing right in front of you, instead of stopping mid sentence to see what everyone else has to say.