A few weeks ago, I decided to dump my cell phone. I wrote about it. Lately, friends and readers of this blog have asked me what life is like without a cell phone.
Since getting a house phone, I have talked to my friends and family members more than ever. When the phone rings, I pick it up, as opposed to turning it on silent and getting to it later. And when I talk to my friends, I really listen. I try to practice being present by closing my laptop, sitting in a comfortable chair, and listening to them talk about their lives.
I’ve had to use my alarm clock, a desk diary, and a watch. My cell phone used to do all of that for me, but then I realized that looking at a screen all day made me feel anxious. Talking on a house phone, then writing my plans down in a desk diary/calendar, or checking the time with my watch has made me more mindful of how I spend my time.
The other great thing is that men who are interested in me have to call me.
I do wish 1991’s version of Denzel was calling me up…this still is from Mississippi Masala.
Suddenly I feel like I’m in high school again when I stay up late talking on the phone. Because they can’t text me, I get asked out properly. One has recited poetry; another friend stopped by to visit me to make sure I’m okay. One calls just to say hello and he leaves long, pleasant voicemails. They never assume I’m ignoring their calls because they know I’m just not home. Finally, I have managed to maintain an air of mystery.
No longer am I subjected to a series of texts with ellipses, or checking my cell phone every 2 minutes for a phone call that won’t come.
Still, I don’t hate on people who use cell phones. There seems to be a running campaign to shame people into being present. I’m not about that life. If you need to talk on your cell phone while pushing a stroller, who am I to judge? Cell phones just don’t work for me at this point in my life. As long as people are communicating with each other in a mindful and respectful fashion, I am happy for them.
So, for all the curious people out there: not using a cell phone right now improves the quality of my life and my relationships. I have to focus on the people who are around me, my own thoughts, and my work. I keep my cell phone charged and turned off, and I only plan on using it in case of a car emergency.
thanks for asking!