Smart phones have uniquely integrated themselves into almost every aspect of our lives. With it you can pretty much do, see, or share anything, with anyone at anytime. Our addiction to our phones has risen to a level of intensity that some would even say that reaching for it has become more of a reflex than a purposeful action a lot the time.
Whether you primarily use your phone to talk, text, e-mail, take photographs, navigate, read news or check the weather, it is quite an unimaginable thought to be without one, ever.
I recently spent an entire day phoneless when my died without any signs or forewarning. At first I was frustrated and annoyed by the inconvenience. But not before long something unexpected happened: I realized that I was happier without it.
Almost immediately I felt more ‘present’ in everything that I did. Without distraction I was able to listen and observe intently. Whatever the situation, conversation or surroundings were, I was engaged, curious and connected almost all of the time. It makes you wonder: how many moments have we either missed or ignored, simply from being on our phones?
Some time away from my phone was helpful in realizing that 24/7 exposure to news headlines and notifications from our various application does far more harm than good. The notion that news should be inescapable, along with the fact that we are living in some very dark and confusing times, makes it difficult to enjoy or appreciate all of life’s simple pleasures and beauty.
Watching friends laugh with one another and enjoy themselves; couples embracing each other; children playing together; or adventures in nature all serve as great reminders that a sometimes ugly world is still at all times beautiful.
Even when we use our phone to take a photo it becomes a tool that interferes with or alters reality. Instead of taking a photograph for the simple purpose of having a keepsake from a moment in time, we tend to disrupt experiences to take pictures that we can edit it and share with people as if it were some sort of ‘proof’ of our experience.
It might not be practical to abandon our phones entirely. But as you can see there are powerful benefits to disconnecting, even if only for small amounts of time. Fewer distractions, better engagement, less fear or angst, more love and enjoyment, are just a few of the many reasons you should consider spending some time without one.