Question: If you hypothetically dropped your phone in the lake, stone cold sober on a Friday morning, can’t get a replacement till Monday, maybe Tuesday, and are hosting 3 other couples* the entire time… what would you do? (*these are families we decided to quarantine with intentionally during Covid)
Answer: Enjoy it without looking at your phone constantly, that’s what you’d do. There would be no Facebook fights, text messages would be responded to hours and hours later. There are no Direct messages on instagram stories because you never posted. No one is offended they weren’t invited or that you’re doing something differently than they are. There are no phone calls, voicemails, emails, pings and dings. There are only conversations, dance parties, dinners, cocktails, blurry selfies, and mega laughs with valuable humans right in front of you. I think in the olden days, they used to call this making memories and living in the moment.
I am pretty sure this is what life is supposed to be like. Phones are a tool to help us, not an appendage that is necessary for minute by minute living. And yet here I am feeling like I miss it, while hating what it’s created in me— a need to be liked, approved, busy, important? I don’t know, but not having all those things, with a valid “excuse”, feels pretty freeing. AND why do I need an excuse to simply be living?
Setting Technology Boundaries
ARG. So what now? I’m having some conversations with myself about boundaries. I can still use iMessage on my laptop, so that’s helpful —but there’s something official about jumping onto your laptop and doing your work for a little bit here and there. It’s not like a phone. I don’t carry my laptop on a boat ride or a car ride. I don’t bring it outside while I’m watching the kids swim or have it next to me while I’m cooking. I kind of like the lap top set up/ mind shift/ inconvenience ! *Please don’t put it past me to bring this computer to a wedding or concert when those happen again and hold it up , blocking the view of several rows behind me. We’ve all seen it and gasped. Well, guess what, IT ME!
With that said, I would encourage you to throw your phone in any body of water for several hours until it is waterlogged. And make sure you’re credit cards and ID’s are also attached to the phone for good measure, like I did! Go big or go home. Just Kidding. You don’t have to throw your phone in the water, but you can reconsider boundaries around the ol’ cement block around our necks called a “smart phone”. It’s disguised as convenient , which for some might also be associated with freedom. But it’s a sham! There’s so much life to enjoy without that thing cramping our wrists and our probably our hearts.
Understanding Your True Value
You are not needed today like you think you are. You are not so important as to always need to be available for anyone and everyone. You are more valuable than making sure people know your life is fun or cool or calm or even messy. Identity can come from anything really.
You are more than likes and messages, responses or arguments and pointless debates. Actual life is waiting for you to look up!
Staring at my phone in a bag of rice,
P.S. Where did all the White Claws go??