Yes, I’ve gotten rid of my smartphone. For good.
Yeah, I got the iPhone. And yeah, I got rid of it. Why?
1. I Didn’t Want to Be Accessible
The iPhone made me accessible.
I was no longer a lone ranger, as it were. I couldn’t get lost. I was suddenly, with this device, always found and always in touch.
If you called me during dinner, there I was. If you called me during school, there I was. If you called me while I was walking down the street, there I was. Not that I actually answered the phone at any of these times, but you get the point.
It was suddenly there with me everywhere and as I got older, when someone needed something, I was just a phone call away. No guessing. No frustration. No appreciation. I was there.
I decided I wanted to stop being there and start being here.
2. I Wanted To Stop Being Rude
The iPhone made being rude very easy.
I was able to check my e-mail from my phone, and suddenly every e-mail became so important that I had to check it right then. I noticed that I’d be texting a client when I was hanging out with my boyfriend.
I was getting calls and texts from exes who wanted to see me. I was receiving calls from my boss asking me to come in early. And yes, as horrific as it is, I’ve been that person who didn’t see the red light because they were looking down at their phone.
I was able to Google directions instead of being lost. I was able to look up an item or a restaurant or a question on the Internet right there, wherever I was.
It was so easy. It was so convenient. It took the wonder out of life. It took my attention away from the people I was actually with. I wanted to stop being rude and start being attentive.
3. I Wanted To Be Healthier
What really pushed me to get rid of my phone—besides the midnight text messages and Victoria’s Secret e-mails and mouthing to my boyfriend while we’re cooking dinner “I have to take this” when a call comes in—was the fact that the cell phone was likely affecting my health.
Preliminary studies show that cell phone radiation affects the brain. Although we’re not exactly sure how yet, some research points to tumors. Basically, the longer you use your phone and the closer it is to your head, the more you’re exposed to changes in brain cell DNA.
That made me feel like having a phone in this way, this overly-accessible, convenient, brain-damaging way, wasn’t right.
It was hindering my natural life experiences. I no longer actually learned how to get out of the city, I had Google Maps to show me. Then I forgot the way as soon as I was on the right road home.
I didn’t need to try and find a phone to call my boyfriend on; actually, I didn’t need to have an actual conversation with him at all, because I could merely text him. I didn’t need to talk to my clients or friends or parents. They were all a text message away. We’re so technologically advanced that we took the voices out of a conversation.
How is that possible?
So I got rid of it. Had my service shut off and “wiped” the phone clean, and sold it.
4. I Desired a Simpler Life
I wanted to be free of my phone and all the attachments and distractions it brought with its pretty, bright screen and Wi-Fi capabilities.
I now have a flip phone for emergencies that I keep in my car with the battery out so that signal isn’t constantly coming within several feet of me.
I talk on a landline, which is apparently the only safe way to talk on a phone (sorry, wireless phones are a no. They need to actually be plugged into the wall), and I email. But who knows what that constant Wi-Fi signal is doing to my brain?
Technology has been taken too far to the point that we’re all obsessed with it. Technology in the form of a smartphone was taking away from me being present for my life. I was always, more or less, focused on the phone.
Shouldn’t I be focused on life?
Something just isn’t right about our smartphone culture. You should be paying attention to the world around you, embracing nature and learning how to talk to people and have manners without some device that only makes the checking line slightly less awkward. Forgive me for sounding like a hippie, but seriously. We are missing out on being human.