It has been three weeks since I stopped using my smartphone. It was not voluntary – hubby broke the screen of my HTC OneS three weeks ago and we have trouble getting it fixed. I was pretty bummed out first, but three weeks in, I am kinda of loving it! My life has been so easy and… free? I feel more relaxed without a smartphone.
Fewer distraction and more focus
I used to get constant reminders from my phone – events and meetings, work emails, to-do list, friends’ Facebook activities, and so on. They occupied my mind and really distracted me from the present tasks. It is like waiting for an important phone call, I felt anxious missing anything important. As soon as I started not carrying a phone, I was able to focus on the current moment. And it has been so productive for me. Another reason I think – when I cannot put stuff on my digital to-do list, I just deal with them right away. it sounds so silly but it really prevents me from procrastination. 🙂
Think for myself
I also feel like that I have a lot of free time without a smartphone. The constant connectivity did me more access to more information, but browsing does take time. I used to watch and read stuff online non-step, one youtube video after another. I do not even discuss the stuff I watched with hubby and friends, I just send them a link. It left me no time to process the information I got. Now when I step away from my computer, I can really digest what I read/saw earlier and think a little deeper about the issue. These blank moments here and there really makes a difference on my information processing. So when I return to my computer or tablet, instead of just “watch next”, I have a question in mind and actively research new information.
Do I have to talk to people now?
Without a smartphone, I interact with people more now. Without a phone on my fingertips, I started to look at people in their eyes in the elevator and talked to people who shared rides on my commute. The experience has been so positive. I guess the news nowadays, at least from the news media I follow, like NPR, are largely negative and have made me so cynical, But when I interact with people, I am amazed that how nice people are and it really makes me happy.
The biggest change is really unexpected – I sleep better now. Maybe it is because I do not read from my phone in bed anymore. I used to bring my phone to bed when I felt sleepy and browsed Pinterest – usually ended up felling asleep an hour later. Now I bring Roxie to bed and cuddle with her – 2~3 minutes and I am out. It is so silly and magical – I think my dog loves it too!
More connection, not less
The only time I wish I had my phone was on my birthday, which was last week. I was looking forward to talking to my sister and a couple old friends. But hey, I now have my contacts transferred so I can contact them any day – why just birthdays? Something about owning a landline made me want to call people. For some reason, owning a cellphone made me feel the opposite – isn’t it weird?
Be a smart owner of a smartphone
There was some inconvenience living without a phone but thankfully because I work in an office with a landline, the problem has been very minor. Hubby and I communicate using my office line. And we are fine without communication when I go to gym or run errands by myself. It reminded me my childhood, playing with friends in the field and only going home when it got dark. I had much better sense of time back then and never missed my dinner.
As much as I enjoy not having a phone, hubby insists I get one again. But after this experience, I hope to keep some of the good habits I started. I always have the choice to turn my phone off, or put it in my bag, and reclaim my life. One thing I will definitely not change, is to bring my puppy to bed every night. She is so cuddly!