On February 15, 2016, I dropped and broke my cell phone whilst in the middle of a text conversation with my sister. My first reaction, which was shocking to me, was relief. I felt relieved that I no longer had the obligation to respond, no longer had the responsibility to be available to a device when I had actual people in front of me vying for my attention.
Over a year later, I have realized that being cell-phone free was the single best decision I have made for my self-development and transformation. Not only did I save tons of money, I gained stronger relationships, valuable information about my determination and truly transformed how I see the world and how the people I care about view me.
These are the top 5 things that I GAINED when I REMOVED a cell phone from my life:
1. I Gained A Beautiful Outlook:
Before I REMOVED my cell phone, every outing, every experience would be photographed and posted for likes. I lost touch with the beauty of reality and the present moment because every moment was in competition with the last post and validated through ‘likes;. Now, the only ‘thumbs up’ I am concerned about, are the ones received by the people in my 3D environment.
2. I Gained Humility:
I will be honest, I thought that I would be missed more by my online friends. After about 3 months, my family and friends got used to not being able to reach me when I stopped being their first point of contact with their problems. This was a huge hit to my ego, as I thought my advice was valuable, however it was just constantly AVAILABLE.
3. I Gained Innovation:
Because I run a business, I still need to be available to my clients. Therefore, utilizing my laptop, iPad and Google accounts allowed me to interact with potential and existing clients without the void of not having a cell phone. Google allows for outgoing free phone calls as long as you are connected to the internet. Not having a cell phone has forced me to get more creative with how I approach and speak with people.
4. I Gained Understanding:
When I had a cell phone, I was available 24/7 and therefore I expected everyone else to be. Now that I am disconnected, I don’t place such high standards of availability on my friends and families. A truly liberating realization for me and the people who I care about.
5. I Gained Stronger Relationships:
The friends and family that were in my life purely out of convenience, slowly fell away once I was disconnected. This strengthened the relationships that I had left, as when I was with them we were able to catch up on everything that I missed not being a text away. When I am with my friends and family, I can now give them my 100% undivided attention (although, I don’t receive it in return). My friends and family have been opening up to me more, because I am one of the very few people who aren’t half listening and half texting. I have noticed that people are in limbo, they neither give the people in their environment their 100% attention and they don’t give the people they are communicating with online their 100% attention, either. This is creating an incredible sense of loneliness, as people are socializing yet not forming deep relationships.
When I realized I made the right decision:
Sitting at the park with my Grandma and watching 50 people gather in a flock, standing around, not talking, looking at their phones with smiles as they were at a Pokemon Hot Spot. My Grandma and I realized that we were in a Zombie Apocalypse.
Will I ever go back to getting a cell phone?
Not if I can help it!