So the other day I had to get the screen on my phone fixed after I had damaged it – complete with a hole in the phone and all – (don’t ask). For the hour that I spent with no phone in my possession at all, I realized just how dependent we have become on this small electronic device. It’s become something we absent-mindedly reach for even though we know we don’t have it.
I literally didn’t know what to do with myself for that one hour. It was the strangest feeling. Anything I thought of doing to pre-occupy myself involved having my phone. But I was forced to zap myself into a reality that I once called normal – the one without the ‘third arm’.
And once I did that, I had an epiphany.
I realized just how long it had been since I felt the true essence of the pre-digital era of the early ’90s – of when home phones were still a thing, of when people still called each other to say happy birthday – of when people would actually interact with each other face to face without a camera lens between them.
At that moment, I embraced the fact that I had no phone. I felt like I was re-discovering a forgotten version of myself. It was actually an amazing feeling.
I sat in a nearby restaurant and allowed myself to just think and reflect. It reminded me of how much of ourselves we truly lose when we over-indulge on our mobile devices. We are constantly disrupted and distracted by all the ‘noise’ online that it becomes difficult to just escape from that once in a while in order to maintain some semblance of self-preservation.
And ironically, what I initially thought would be the longest hour ever to pass, ended up going by fairly quickly once I embraced the absence of my phone.
This is also why I have a special appreciation for certain celebrities that, to this day, have never caved into social media. Jennifer Aniston is one of them and kudos to her for keeping it real. Now would I be one of the first people to follow her on Instagram if she created an account? I certainly would because I’m a huge fan of hers, but at the same time, I really admire and respect her committment to personal privacy.
So I guess the takeaway here is that we obviously live in an era where phones are a necessity, and there’s no going back from that, but it’s equally important to consciously take mini timeouts for yourself, away from your phone, to simply restore the beauty of just being aware of your surroundings and rediscovering your value and purpose in this wonderful, yet mysterious thing called life.