A few months ago, due to financial circumstances I had to give up having a cell phone. As my friends and contacts can attest, I was a full on addict. I couldn’t leave without my phone, I checked it at least twice every 10 minutes, and generally freaked out if I didn’t have my identity with me. And then, I had no choice but to abandon my preconceived notion of myself.
As I sit here today, I realize I don’t miss it. Not really. There’s only been one time that I really could have used one but I was in a hospital being monitored for heart issues anyway and my friend had one to notify my family if she needed to do so (thankfully she didn’t). Here are some things I learned about going “old school” with nothing but a home phone.
I have more control over my life now than I did when I had a cell phone. I get to pick and choose easier by having only a home phone who has my number. It allows me to choose who I wish to spend my time with chatting on the phone. Unlike with a cell phone, I don’t feel obligated to answer my home phone because when I’m at home, that’s my time. If I want to spend time with people, I’ll go hang out with them. I am no longer strapped to everyone else’s beck and call. I decide what I want to do.
I no longer have the overpriced expense of something that I didn’t really need. I figured out that I felt my cell phone was a measure of my worth in the modern world. I coveted nicer phones than I had because, well they were faster, bigger, whatever reason. I had a freak out because the phone I had got broken. If it weren’t for my friend, I’d have had no phone at all. But in retrospect, I needed to buy into the propaganda that I required one to fit in. I’m not one to do that. Money, although still not really a frequent thing in my pocket (YET!) is better spent on food, an occasional coffee out with friends, or other fun things instead of to a tether.
When I leave the house, I no longer have to worry about whether or not I received that phantom ring call. We’ve all had them. It’s the one that arrives precisely in the time it takes you to take your phone, check it, and put it back where you had it when it rings. Then the mad dash to answer it because the intuition that a call was coming in must mean DANGER! Well, usually, it was more mundane than that. It’s almost as if people are being trained like Pavlov’s dog to hear/feel the energy that keeps pouring into our bodies from those plastic gadgets.
Face Time (for real)
Yes, I’m aware there’s an app called that. Yes, I understand that it allows distant loved ones to chat with one another as if they’re right there in the same room. I get the practical side of that. However, I’ve found that if I’m really wanting to see a person…obvious here, go spend time with that person. I call up a friend and request an appointment. They agree or disagree. If they agree, I get to see them, hug them, smell them (which sounds creepier than it is), listen to their voice, watch their body language, visit with their spirit, etc. In short, I get to have communion with another human. I get to be a part of their life and they in mine. I value the time I have with people far more now than when I had a cell phone to distract me because I’m in the moment. I’m in the now. I’m not waiting for a call or text from someone. I’m with the friend or loved one I’m with. I mean WITH!
I made more minutes!
Every day, we’re all given twenty-four hours in which to accomplish everything we were born to do that day. When I was attached to my cell phone, I’d while away the hours and hours with some texting, some games, some messengers, some Facebooking, and many other past times. I am not saying those are bad, but they are massive time eaters for me. Once I no longer had those things to distract me, my creativity soared through the roof. I can pull off things I only imagined before I gave up my cell phone. I feel guilty if I don’t write, draw, paint, sketch, work material, or even visit with my tribe. Guilty because…well actually I don’t. I have time to do all the things I was born to do in this day. I can meet the world with my head looking up instead of down at a cell phone. I SEE people and have more time.
What began as a horror, has ironically, become a luxury. I am happier, more productive, I noticed the manacles of my identity haven’t been lost, but instead enhanced by not being forced to live in a little black box with a pretty case that I was never destined to live in at all. It’s been satisfying to me across the board. If you do decide to go old school and have a relatively good internet service provider, try the MagicJack Go. When you see how much it costs ($100 bucks for five years of service, I shit you not), you’ll see what I mean. Take control, my friend. Happiness is right in front of you.