• Lessons Learned When I Was Without A Cell Phone

Monday was a challenging day…my phone went to that great iPhone heaven in the sky. I think the battery was shot.

Photo Oct 14, 9 04 25 AM

I did not receive my replacement phone until Thursday afternoon.

I had 3 full days with no cell phone use or access.

While chatting via Google Hangout with one part of my trio, P.D.A., she asked how was it not having a cell phone for the last few days. I told her that I made some interesting observations and thought I would share them via my blog.

 

Lessons Learned While I Was Cell Phoneless

I can definitely function without a phone for 24 hours. But not much longer than that. In this day and age of doing everything from checking on loved ones to ordering pizza to making doctor’s appointments, not having a cell phone proved to be a HUGE inconvenience after 24 hours. I either had to call before I left somewhere or wait until I arrived to make a call. Now for some that wouldn’t be a big issue, but when you’re used to being able to let someone know you’re on the way or order food on your way home–it was slightly annoying. Not annoying to do anything drastic or to pitch a fit, but annoying nonetheless. Imagine days when you’ve left your phone at home. Now imagine that feeling for 3 days–yes. Annoying.

I maintain many of my close relationships using my phone. The MAJORITY of my friends and family do not live in my city. And most of them don’t even live in my state. So I maintain my relationships in between visits using my cell phone. Group chats. Text messages. Phone calls. My cell phone is my lifeline to my friends and family. And considering my parents and I usually do most of our talking via cell phones–even they were slightly annoyed that I was without a cell phone. LOL

I conduct a good deal of business using my phone. Most of my business colleagues and all of my clients have my cell phone number. That’s how I conduct my coaching calls and consultations. And if a client or a business friend has a question or wants to share something, they usually do it via text message or group chat. The day my cell phone died, I had 3 back to back consultations scheduled. Ended up having to use my mom’s cell phone to conduct business. She is not a serious cell phone user, so she was cool. But I was slightly annoyed (I have been annoyed a lot for the past 3 days).

I was a little more nervous driving at night or long distances. I didn’t really like being out at night without a cell phone. Kept having visions of scenes from Law & Order or Criminal Minds. I watch way too much crime TV… What also heightened that uneasiness is the fact that pay phones are now virtually non-existent.

Woman Walking in High Heels at Night

I was able to think and meditate while driving. The one pleasant thing was I didn’t drive distracted. I was able to listen to music and really listen to the words without feeling the need to check Instagram or post something on FaceBook. Made my commute a bit more pleasant. So even this morning while driving to work (after receiving my replacement), I didn’t look at my cell phone (not even while stopped at a red light). This is a practice I hope to continue.

People weren’t quite sure what to think when I wasn’t so accessible. I didn’t do the whole social media announcement of how people could get up with me since I was temporarily disengaged from the mobile world. The only people I really told were my parents and one special friend. By the second day I started getting FB inboxes and emails from friends asking what was up. A few of them said, “You always answer, even if it’s a text to say you’ll call back later. I didn’t know what to think.” LOL While I’m low key glad that my accessibility was missed, I’m also aware that this is not something I need to continue on a global scalre. My life will be changing over the next year and I should probably go ahead and start making some changes so my people aren’t thrust into a state of shock (smile).

My cell phone use generally isn’t frivolous, it’s purposed and focused. But if it is frivolous–so what? This is the most freeing lesson I learned. My phone is used to connect, engage and conduct business. So for me, the majority of its use is not frivolous. I don’t really play games on my phone. But so what if I did? I am “on” all the time, I can have some down time to just goof off. And how I goof off may not be how someone else goofs off. You play Candy Crush. I scroll Instagram. You read a book (which I do too). I read a blog post. I use my phone to maintain my friendships and make new ones. And I don’t find that frivolous at all. I have come to the conclusion that I will not allow productivity “experts” make me feel guilty about my cell phone use. What works for them may not work for me–and I am ok with that.

All in all, I found that while I can dial back my cell phone use, my cell phone is also necessary. I don’t find that it decreases my productivity if I use it strategically. And it is the main component to stay in contact with people who mean a great deal to me. But I will also take the time to put it away to engage with people while face to face; and wait to share the memories of that interaction a bit later.

Do you agree or disagree with my lessons learned? Leave your comment below…

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