Phoneless Phear

I’ve seen more random posts on social media lately where folks either lost their cellphone or forgot it when going on a trip. Their words are dreamlike as they share how magical and technicolor-filled their world became during their phone’s absence. Doesn’t that sound like a mini-staycation for your soul?

I know, I know, some of you are saying, “But my phone is my business so I can’t AFFORD to turn it off or set it down for even a minute.” There could be some truth to that but then… maybe not. You have to be honest and say, “I don’t have to check my email, FB, Twitter, or weather on my phone every hour. Actually, if I just checked my email first thing in the morning and then at the end of the day, I should be ok. Anything that really needs my attention will mean a phone call.”

Remember those days? When a phone call was THE way you reached folks? Your computer was for email. Phones were for talking. They weren’t portable computers. Somehow the world still revolved then. We still survived. These days it feels like we’re prisoners to our phones. Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), or just fear in general, can make you feel like you forgot to put on clothes if you leave the house without your phone. I promise you, it’s not the end of the world. Going to the store without your phone lets you pay attention to the scenery, enjoy some music, and maybe become a more attuned driver.

There’s a small cloud that’s lifted from your mind when you’re not tethered to the world by your phone – especially if you’re away from all computers. You stand a little taller, smile a little more, the sun shines mainly on you, and you’re sexy to the rest of the world.

Recently I had no choice but to set my phone aside. No reception and job duties returned it to it’s original mission of being a talk machine. What did I notice? I noticed how much I naturally reach for the phone, feel the need to check it for messages, busy myself during slow times with mindless social media wandering, or read bad news that really is beyond my control or community. Without the phone, I relaxed. I focused on my job. I made small talk with strangers – because they couldn’t use their phones either. Took me back to a simpler time, and I liked it. Best part? At the end of the day, my brain didn’t feel like it had been put through a combat mission. It was free and clear.

Consider cutting the tie once a week – maybe on a weekend. Don’t want you to go into too much shock, so take baby steps. Start with just leaving it behind and go for a long walk, or maybe run an errand. But what if someone needs you? Are you an on-call medic? Superhero with no telekinetic abilities? You’ll be fine without it. If you find yourself enjoying the freedom, push it to a half day, and then try a whole day. You may be surprised. I guarantee your mind will enjoy it and you’ll feel more refreshed than you have in a long time.