Like almost everyone I know, I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve rummaged through my bag panicking because I’ve thought I had lost my phone. Usually, it’s found within seconds and we have a Christian the Lion-esque reunion, but recently mine was lost for real. The fact is in 2014, a smart phone is much than just a phone, it’s a social crutch, an entertainment system, a lifeline and a virtual home. Although initially bummed out by my sudden loss (I was so close to being number one in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood), I started to notice how my phone was taking over my life. So I’m taking my sweet time getting a new one (and experiencing phantom vibrations in the process). Here’s what I’ve learned without my smartphone:
1. Not everything needs to be photographed
Once while out in the Emirates sans iPhone, I saw a woman driving with a monkey on her lap and since then, I’ve been a firm believer in documenting everything. The first few days without my phone left me worrying, what if I see another lap monkey? What if I eat something worth Instagramming (and finally have the self-restraint to photograph my food before I eat)? Then I realized, it doesn’t matter. Wanting to remember everything and anything leaves you distracted during moments you should just enjoy. Do I need to take a picture of these cupcakes or this flower or these pigeons? The answer is, no. Since then, I’ve enjoyed going out much more without wondering if something is worth showing off on social networking.
2. The world goes on without me
Embarrassingly, one of my biggest concerns when flying isn’t a plane crash, but that during the amount of time I spend up in the air without Wi-Fi, something BIG will happen. Being constantly connected to the world means we’re given the luxury of watching big events unfold right before our eyes. We’re able to watch Twitter meltdowns happen in real-time and we can react simultaneously with world events. With my phone, knowing I had a constant stream of information left me too connected to the world online. Without my phone, I’ve come to the insane realization that the world goes on without me, and all its information will still be around in eight hours.
3. Falling asleep is much easier
It’s been said before that bright screens before bed can make falling asleep more difficult, but my problem was knowing the world was at my fingertips. Every time I would put my phone down, I’d remember something I just HAD to read/Google/Tweet/iMessage before hitting the hay. Now, I’m only left with my thoughts, which I’m sure can put anyone to sleep. Although there’s no science to back this up (yet), I really do feel as though sleeping without using my phone has totally increased my ability to remember dreams as well.
4. Lack of constant communication makes communicating more meaningful
If there’s one thing I love about the modern age, it’s that I don’t have to wait months to have a decent long-distance conversation like I’m in a Victorian-era novel. At any given moment, I was using three different apps communicating with the same five people. Although I love having my favorite people on call at any moment, I’ve started to see my friends as my extra limbs rather than actual people. Now, I’m forced to wait until I get to a computer to send lengthy messages of things that actually matter, like a pug video.