For the next 10 days or so, if my friends want to reach me, they will have to do so by phone. Old school, pick up the phone to dial me kind of communication. Where you and I will have a real conversation and actually be forced to talk to each other. There will be no 3G, no LTE - not even a WIFI connection, and texting takes way too long.
If you have ever had dinner with me, you would have probably pointed out at some time -potentially between starters and the main-, that my phone is always on and I am constantly checking it. It's a nasty habit. and one I can't seem to break out of. However, due to certain circumstances, I have swapped out my highly functional smartphone, for my old pink Samsung (circa before the galaxy existed). The keyboard is T9, and there is no SIRI, or chrome, or any snazzy android apps.
In fact, a friend texted me today and it took me a whole minute to type out a one sentence reply. One WHOLE minute. Now, while that sinks in, let's also talk about the fact that there isn't an option to take selfies because there is no front facing camera.
Snark and sass aside, not having a smartphone in my life meant eliminating alot of temptation and distraction. I no longer have the urge to have my phone glued to my hand because there is literally nothing to check. Because of that, for the first time in ages, I went for dinner and actually chatted with my company, and had a really nice conversation. I even enjoyed my dinner itself, instead of half pushing it around and half typing on my phone.
That's when I realized how consuming my phone had become, and how much I have probably missed out on because I was busy staring at my screen - waiting for my newsfeed to update. All the jokes I pretend to laugh at because I'm too embarrassed to admit I wasn't listening, and all the conversations that I could have had. If I'm going to be honest, there's a very relaxing and zen feeling that comes with not wanting to check your phone all the time.
T9 keyboard aside, I kind of like it.
Even though I have only been without my phone for 12 hours, I've really enjoyed those hours of solitude without the desire to be connected. The disconnect is actually kind of nice because it allows me to enjoy and connect with the presence of the people around me, and everything that is going on. Gone is the anxiety of 'did someone whatsapp me!' or the need to check my e-mail and twitter. It's simply not priority when it's not so readily accessible.
Having said all of that, I will still eventually be returning to my smartphone, but for now, I'm going to enjoy this time that I have for myself and the people around me. Smartphones are made to connect us,and hopefully at the end, I'll remember this feeling. That sometimes, the best connections are found away from the screen.