Why I’m hanging up the smartphone.
It may have been somewhere around 3 AM when I lined up for my iPhone 4 back in July 2010. That hour didn’t bother me at all since, as a former TV news reporter, I was familiar with being called out at all hours. Having been out of the business for three years and forgotten the stench of death (since that’s usually what pulled a reporter from the comforts of sleep) I felt a little giddy being up before everyone else.
I always loved the still of the night, sound of silence. Very little noise. Just me and my thoughts. Ironic then, isn’t it, that I was about to trade in my basic cell phone for a smartphone?
I mean, part of the reason I burned out of news quicker than a firecracker on the 4th, was all the noise. Too much talk. Too many demands. Too many distractions in that pressure cooker. But man, I wanted that phone. Everybody was getting one. And I’d actually come into the mass smartphone buying frenzy about a year late.
Maybe it was sometime in 2009 that people I’d never peg as a data using, info searching, friend request accepting handheld computer holder person were toting blackberries and iPhones. That was when I thought it was a waste of money. I’d just save it, and stick with my desktop. Then I got the bug.
And this is where I’d like to say that I don’t think other people should live like I do. I think reasonable adults know how to put their phones down and enjoy their kids. Their vacations. Their company and their… food without being “on” all the time. Problem is, with this…. I’m not a reasonable adult. There’s always one more text I need to answer. One more email I want to check. One more… you get the picture. I can’t put it down. And in this social media crazed world I live in, I feel more disconnected than ever.
Though I will say, I love looking back at all the pictures. Here are some sweet memories I grabbed from the thousands on my computer. I got lazy putting the collage together, thus the duplicate. (Meh, he’s cute.)
My friends, my closest friends keep me company online, and I’m grateful, but I can’t really count the times I’ve felt I’ve over shared, run people off, or just been overlooked. It’s like this whole world of temptation for me. I slip into this, “their lives look so much better than mine” and “why don’t my ‘friends’ respond to me the way they do other people?” It’s silly because when I think about it, I have great friends. And I know those great friends will stay connected. (I don’t plan on deleting any online accounts. I’m just stepping away from the phone.)
When I’m so busy fumbling with my phone, I also miss moments with my husband and my children. Like the first amusement park ride that was slightly more than my toddler had bargained for. He handled it like a pro. But I missed the look on his face. I was too busy trying to shoot something to remember for later. To store in the thousands of images. If I’m not missing moments, I’m having to tell him no to playing with his “myphone.” It’s become the focus of his attention and well… do I really want him to stick his face in front of a computer so early? Do I want him begging at every turn to “make video?” To watch something when he playing is healthier? My answer, as you’ve already guessed, is “no.”
I’m missing life here. I’m creating distractions that I can avoid.
So why not just put the phone away? That’s what I’m doing until our contract runs out next month. I’ve left it upstairs in the morning. I’ll check it and then go back for it when we load up to go somewhere. And I leave it in the car if we’re at the park. So far, I feel like I’m more present. So, why not keep doing that? I’m SO happy to tell you!
I can’t wait to save the money I feel like I’m throwing away. We’re just now considering new plans. And I also have to wait to see if the hubby is 100% on board with giving up his smartphone too. Though I’d never nag or pressure him, I am safe in laying out my thoughts and reasons without fear he’ll reject them. He’s considering the same and I think he’ll join the ride.