While talking to a friend of mine yesterday, she asked if I still had my flip phone and brought up that she thinks that I ought to get my smartphone back so that I can take pictures of my kids whenever I want to.
This friend is quite dear to me, so the response that I gave was “I still have it. Being present and not on my smartphone helps me to remember it better. Damon still has his should we want to take pictures.”
I know that she meant well. But it got me thinking. It’s been a year since I got rid of my smartphone. I still used it as an iPod while at work, but it went through the wash in March, so that option was off the table as well.
Seriously, I don’t miss my smartphone. Here’s why:
- People drive hours to see people so that they can all sit on their smartphones together- I hate this so much. It wasn’t until I got rid of my phone that I realized how often people are on theirs. People will drive hours to see family, only to sit on their phones the entire time. Like…why bother getting together if you’re all just going to be on Facebook? Groups of friends just Snapchat other people. Then they scoff at the grandparents who organized the event and spent hours making food for everyone. Any time there is a lull in the conversation, people pull out their phones. It screws up the natural flow of conversation. In-person people are simply too boring to compete with the entirety of human knowledge, stupid opinions, and HILARIOUS Youtube videos…apparently. I hate when I’m with my in-laws and we’re having a great conversation when suddenly, one of Damon’s siblings will utter “OH! I HAVE TO SHOW YOU THIS VIDEO!” The whole family bunches up around a tiny screen, and the whole world has to stop for the 6:19 long video….until somebody goes “OH HAHAHA! GO TO THE NEXT ONE!” Everyone sits (or stands if in the kitchen) in mesmerized silence over the newest Facebook video. I usually just sit there like, “Can we not f*cking do this? I drove over an hour and a half to sit here and watch you watch Youtube videos? Give me a break…”
- “Hold on, kids. Mommy isn’t done fighting with Brooke from Detroit over why cloth diapering is stupid!” I hate social media. It used to be that you’d get into dumb arguments over politics or differing lifestyle choices at family gatherings once a year. Now, it’s a nonstop 24/7 war. You can fight with Cindy from Nebraska over why she’s being stupid for not vaccinating her womb squirrels while taking a dump. OHHH WHAT A DAY TO BE ALIVE!!!! You can check out people who you really don’t care that much about’s wedding photos while eating your cereal. How personal. How caring. Judge people’s life choices 24/7!!! Wow!! No, I don’t miss social media. I don’t miss Facebook. I don’t miss seeing the “momtrepreneurs” and their lame attempts to get me to join their new seaweed wrap “business”. Nope nope nope.
- Humans evolved to shut off and go the eff to sleep. The end of the day was meant for winding down, finding a safe place to sleep, reconnecting with family, and sleeping. It was not made for browsing Buzzfeed at 3 AM, jerking off to someone’s daughter being violated on-screen, arguing with strangers, etc. etc. Just go to sleep. Refresh! Recuperate! Quit blinding yourself with light 24/7! I sleep much better now that I’m not harassed by notifications, news, blah blah blah blah blah blah, alllllll the time!!
- You don’t constantly need to be entertained. Adults complain about kids being on their phones too much, then FREAK OUT when their kids didn’t take their phone with them to the park. Adults talk about the days when they all played outside, then submerge themselves in their phones. You will be okay without Wifi. You will not die if you don’t watch funny videos. You will not die if you’re not constantly being pacified and entertained like a baby. Not having a smartphone taught me patience and the joy of standing in line at the grocery store. Not craving this barrage of funny, funny, funny, oooh! update! funny, funny, ANGRY STATUS, POLITICAL RANT, funny, funny alllllll the time is pretty great. It is okay to just wait and line and talk to people. It is okay to just think while you wait. It’s okay to not have to be constantly distracted from this boring thing called “life”.
- Sure…you can read on your phone…after you respond to this text real quick! At risk of sounding pretentious; I like books. I like reading a paperback or hardback copies of a good book. I don’t like reading on my phone. It gives me a headache, and people irritate me with messages or emails or the 823472893057234 other distractions available. The only exception is listening to audiobooks. That’s the ONLY thing that I miss about my smartphone.
- Do you actually know how to get anywhere without your phone? I noticed that after I got rid of my phone, I actually had to start learning how to navigate. When people would tell me an address, I used to brush it aside thinking “I’ll just look it up on my phone later…” Now, I actually know where that place is just based on the address. I can navigate places better than before…usually. If not, then I call Damon and have him tell me how to get somewhere. It doesn’t happen very often.
- Being able to Google anything at any moment is pretty cool, but…it turns you into a lazy thinker. Being able to look up facts or alternative facts all of the time is a luxury. A lot of people have become so reliant upon Google to just tell them that they can’t think things through for themselves. It’s not like Google knows everything. It’s a search engine. You can pull up whatever you want to hear. If you want to hear one side of an argument, Google will provide you with over ten million arguments for it. Same with the counter argument. Google will not do the thinking for you. And most people don’t know what Google Scholar is. Hint: It’s pretty neat. I use it for all of my research paper. But again, it does not draw conclusions for you.
- But what about pictures? Don’t you want to be able to take pictures? Somehow, humans seemed perfectly content with keeping their loved ones locked away in their memories until the last 20 years of mankind’s existence. They were there for it. They remembered it. They wrote stuff down. How often do photos tell the whole story? How often do photos give context? Taking a picture is a lazy memory. We hiked a trail this past weekend. I snapped a few pictures of the kids playing in the water for funsies then put the phone back in the backpack. Being here helps me remember. Being present and remembering all of this feels much better than having some staged photo and interrupting the moment. I don’t want to interrupt the memory because I was too busy trying to get a good angle. I’ll pass….And since everyone else has their phones 24/7, it’s not like I’m really missing any pictures.
- I intentionally made it difficult and inconvenient to waste time. If I want to send a text, I have to decide whether I want to individually punch out 160 characters. I can’t just casually hit up a bunch of semi-friends all at the same time. I have to prioritize because I don’t always feel like typing out a text. My phone quits buzzing at around the time that people go to sleep. It’s 100x easier to mess around on your phone than it is a big computer. My actions have to be more deliberate. I can’t just tap on a few things with my thumb and suddenly be reading a random list on how to comb my eyebrows properly. I stick my laptop in a drawer for most of the week. I pull it out when I want to write. I use Damon’s computer when I need to do homework. I shut it off and go back to living my life when I’m done. I don’t live on my phone.
- “WHERE’SMYPHONE?! OH SH*T! WHERE’S MY PHONE?!!” Most people nearly burst their capillaries when their phone is missing. Their $900 piece of property is MIA. Their banking information, photos, friends, entire LIVES are on these phones!!! It’s like misplacing your electronic child. I misplace my phone all of the time because I’m not on it all of the time. It’s tiny, black, and cost me $10 at Walmart. If I lose it, I really don’t care. I just have replaceable texts and maybe 25 contacts on there. Literally, nothing else can even fit on that phone. It holds 300 texts. Nobody is going to steal my phone. They’d more likely be all “Who the ef still has these things?” I can watch it clatter to the floor, break into 3 pieces, and not even flinch. It takes ten seconds to reassemble. Try doing that with your iPhone 7. 6? 8? I don’t even know what number Apple has reached anymore.
- The whole world doesn’t know my business anymore. Occasionally, I’ll run into someone who I haven’t seen in awhile. The first thing that comes out of their mouth is “Hey! I haven’t seen you on Facebook in forever. Did you get rid of it?” Yes…Thank you for taking the time and effort to see how I’m doing. I’m not bitter about it. You recognize who cares about you when you get rid of your online cheat sheet. I post to my blog because I enjoy writing. People who know and care about me either follow my blog, have my phone number, or see me every day/weekend. They’re not shocked to find out that we moved, I’m pregnant with #3, and my kids magically grew older without the whole of my Facebook friends “liking” every photo. I like keeping my privacy more than I ever liked the likes.
- I’m living my life. Not being stressed out over what stupid people are saying, not busily Pinning sh*t that I’ll never make, not reading depressing news stories, and not updating statuses made me a calm, happy person. I have time to read and not be distracted. I finish books now, something that never happened when I had a smartphone. I play with my kids now. I read to them without them competing with the world online. I cook. I garden. I spend time with my husband. I don’t waste my time thinking about some fabulous argument to anti-vaxxers. Okay, I still totally think up arguments against those idiots. I don’t live on my phone. I don’t live online. I don’t watch Youtube all day. I remember. I go places. I live. I don’t need my smartphone to live. You don’t need a smartphone to live.
Yes yes yes, of course. You have excellent self-control. Your smartphone does nothing but enrich your existence. You’re definitely not on it all day. You’re better than me. Congratulations! You’re the exception. Go post about it. Quick! The internet is waiting!