Husband and I are cell phone free and we love it. LOVE it. Seriously, we don’t even miss it…in fact, I kind of pity everyone else. You’re missing out on life.
I’ve been reflecting on technology and the roll it plays in our lives lately. Our society has been so consumed by it that we forget what real life looks like. I read an article yesterday (http://news.yahoo.com/driver-sent-got-11-texts-11-min-crash-151619850.html) about texting and driving. Lives were lost because someone couldn’t wait until they reached their destination to answer a text message. I also found it slightly sad that a famous actor thought it was unfair that he should shut off his game for the safety of others…and even more ridiculous that people are petitioning airlines to change the rules so that they won’t have to turn off electronics for the 10 minutes it takes to take off and land in an airplane. Have we disconnected ourselves so much from the real world that we are afraid to sit quietly with ourselves for those 10 minutes?
I fear for the younger generation. I fear that they won’t know how to build solid relationships outside of the internet or text messages. I fear that they won’t be able to put their thoughts and emotions into coherent sentences. I fear that they will never know how to type with correct punctuation or grammar.
And for everyone else to reflect, here are some things I’ve learned and realized from the last few months of being cell phone free:
1. It took a few days, but I have really enjoyed car rides and the silence they bring. I used to be on the phone in the car all the time. Now I pray, figure out my day and sing with my daughter…can’t get much better than that.
2. I don’t obsess over checking it ALL THE TIME. It’s so freeing to not be checking for text messages or missed calls all the time. I am more focused on my kids and what’s important in that moment.
3. People can’t get a hold of me at any given time. This may not seem like a good thing to some people, but I feel like we as a society have lost the value of soaking in a moment. If I am with my husband on a date, having dinner with good friends or talking with someone at the store, then I don’t need to be distracted by a phone call…I need to focus on giving my total attention to the people I am with. It’s respectful that way. We have an answering machine at the house…leave a message.
4. Financially it makes sense. Instead of spending over $100 a month on phones, we spend $100 a year for our prepaid emergency cell phone (we do have one for traveling, etc.) This has allowed us to up our food and entertainment budgets and has allowed our almost 2 year old to attend Moms-Day-Out (for my sanity and hers.)
5. We make actual phone calls. Instead of texting to make plans or check on people, we actually pick up the phone and dial..and have a real conversation. I love it. I get to hear my friends’ and family’s voices rather than see and impersonal text. Truthfully, this was a challenge to me at first because I had gotten so used to texting, but I love it now. It builds relationships in unexpected ways.
6. I watch life happen. Instead of being head-down texting or talking all the time, I pay way more attention to what’s going on around me. I like it like that.
Sometimes it’s a good thing to step away from the electronics for a while….now if I could only break myself of this internet habit….