on leaving our cell phones at home

I have a love/hate relationship with my mobile device. Since I was a teenager, I’ve owned a cell phone. And no, not because my parents gave way and gave me everything I wanted, but because my dad is always ahead of the times, and dropped his landline in 1999. The next year, after he grew tired of his daughter using his personal phone to call her twenty-five eighth-grade friends, he bought us cell phones.

And I haven’t used a landline since. (Pause for dramatic effect.)

While I feel very grateful for this, and am by no means wishing I grew up in a log cabin, I also feel the tiring effects of being hyper-connectedAll I’ve known is connectivity and constant availability, as I’m sure many my age feel the same. I’m available all the time because I always have my phone, and if I don’t respond to texts, something is surely wrong. When in reality, sometimes I just leave it at home, because I want to go somewhere and be physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually present. Let’s face it, I’m a spaz on my own; I don’t need the help of technology.

So if you’ve texted me lately and I haven’t responded until the next day, it’s because I’ve started turning my phone off before I go to bed. Or if you called me a few nights ago and I didn’t call you back until the next day (or the day after…), it’s because I left my phone in the car before I went into our friends’ house, so that I could just focus on the people I was with instead of checking my phone/email/texts/instagram/Facebook/Twitter/etc. every hour making sure no one desperately needs me (as if I am that important).

I think all of us could learn a bit from disconnecting. Not in an extreme, “I’M NEVER GOING TO BE ON FACEBOOK AGAIN!” type way. But in a, “You know what? I need to make steps to be more present with the people I’m actually sitting with,” way. What about you? Do you feel hyper-connected? Have you taken steps to disconnect from technology to be more present with the people in your day-to-day life? What have you found that works? What doesn’t work? 

5 thoughts on “on leaving our cell phones at home”

  1. haha, uh oh…I AM the person that never got on Facebook again, as of 4 years ago…and although that may seem extreme for some, it worked for Jared and I. We kind of have obsessive peronalities, and so we were totally the people that were on it all the time. With friends and family that live far away, now we usually just have catch up phone or Skype convos, so that’s been nice. I love the idea of leaving your phone in the car on purpose when you’re about to visit with friends/family! Stealing it.

    1. Eep! I did not mean you when I was referring to that. I was actually poking fun at myself, because I tend to go to extremes when I want to change something in my lifestyle and then fail three weeks later. So steps are more realistic for me. :) (Remember the time I wanted to get in shape and registered for the mini-marathon? Yes.)

      1. hahaha…oh, I didn’t think you directed at me…it just made me lol! :) I know, I know, my friend. We are both pretty extreme & ridiculous. apt fam forever!

  2. This is brilliant, I really should try this. I certainly am too connected and should devote more of myself to focusing and active listening when I’m with others. True story about your baby blue cell phone :). Remember when I received a pager and I was excited because Rachel had a pager and you said, “Jackie, why don’t you just get a cell phone? It makes the pager irrelevant.” Mr. D was ALWAYS ahead of the times! haha

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