As you may know, our world is now ruled by these tiny, skinny screens that dictate our every second. Not only do they rule our day but they also interrupt and corrupt. They interrupt important connection time between friends and they have been known to corrupt important relationships with your significant other. Read below about a girl, Jenna Woginrich, who has been without a cell phone for over 18 months now and the effects she has felt:
I take my laptop, Google the address, add better directions to my notes and head outside to my 1989 pick-up truck (whose most recent technological feature is a cassette player) and drive over. If I get lost on the way, I’ll need to ask someone for directions. If she changes her plans, she won’t be able to tell me or cancel at a moment’s notice. If I crash on the way, I won’t be calling 911.
I didn’t just cancel cellular service and keep the smartphone for Wi-Fi fun, nor did I downgrade to a flip phone to “simplify”; I opted out entirely. There is no mobile phone in my life, in any form, at all.
“My phone” has become “the phone”. It’s no longer my personal assistant; it has reverted back to being a piece of furniture – like “the fridge” or “the couch”, two other items you also wouldn’t carry around on your butt.
I didn’t get rid of it for some hipster-inspired luddite ideal or because I couldn’t afford it. I cut myself off because my life is better without a cellphone. I’m less distracted and less accessible, two things I didn’t realize were far more important than instantly knowing how many movies Kevin Kline’s been in since 2010 at a moment’s notice. I can’t be bothered unless I choose to be. It makes a woman feel rich.
I even slept with my phone by my side. It was what I fell asleep watching, and it was the alarm that woke me up. It was never turned off. I’m certain I texted while driving, in dark movie theaters, and out with friends around restaurant tables. It got so bad that I grew uncomfortable with any 30-second span of hands-free idleness. I felt obligated to reply to every Facebook comment, text, tweet and game request.
I got a landline and I got more sleep. I look people in the eye. I eat food instead of photographing it and am not driving half a ton of metal into oncoming traffic while looking down at a tiny screen. My business, social life, and personal safety have not evaporated overnight either. Turns out a basic internet connection and laptop is plenty of connectivity to keep friends informed, weekends fun and trains running on time. And while I might be missing out on being able to call 911 at any moment, it’s worth the sacrifice to me. Alcoholics can clean wounds with 100 proof vodka, but that doesn’t mean they should have it in their back pocket just in case.
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