I lost my phone (I think someone took it from my front porch when I stepped inside for a minute to grab something; karma will get this person, one day) and so it’s been about a week now that I’ve been living large, flying phoneless.
It feels great. Actually, it doesn’t feel like anything at all. I mean it’s not a revolutionary feeling in many ways. It’s been years since my life was a constant slew of phone calls and urgent ‘need approval’ emails. No one calls and most of my emails are ones that I need to respond to with thoughtful responses. Most of my friends have iMessage so they can text my computer. Those who don’t just send an email. It’s only been a week; I can’t tell how inconvenient it is for them yet.
I’m no longer on WhatsApp or Instagram. These would have been reasons to hold me back from giving up a phone, had I seriously contemplated the choice, but once the phone was gone, and replacing the phone meant I’d have to go to a phone store, it’s become a no-brainer. I don’t miss either app. Yes, my family convenes on WhatsApp (that’s a Medium post that I’d like to write one day) and I really enjoyed Instagram.
It’s an interesting time, however, to be without a phone. I am in production mode for a show, and I have my own newcomers project to chaperone and take through to creation. So I’m busy busy busy busy. I don’t need social media. I need to get work done. (And the work I’m doing is not currently social media-based.)
Life is not lonelier. Life is probably more meaningful. I have to make choices beforehand and stick to them. Like whom will I meet, and where.
I am more mindful. I take the time to check my schedule and plan if I will need directions, addresses, printouts of meeting minutes or anything else to take with me on my day’s outings.
I am also more free. I leave a meeting, and if it wasn’t on my schedule, then I have no where to be. I have no obligation to anyone, no one except me. If I feel like wandering this way or that, I can. I follow impulses as they come, without diversion or interruption. There’s no inbox stopping me. I can’t look up the specs of this other item that I could try to pick up right now — I Just Have To Follow The Plan. If I had planned to deal with that errand another day, then I’ll stick to the plan, because I can’t immediately access the information I need to carry it out.
Life is simpler. Except for the occasional time when I want to call an Uber,* or I have a friend who wants to call but they don’t have a smart phone. (We live in the dark ages in that latter case; we have to simply both commit to sticking to whatever plan we may have concocted via email correspondence in the days prior.) My studio buzzer doesn’t work because it needs a phone to ring. So I greet my colleagues downstairs and hope they won’t be late.
I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep this up. But it’s nice. Life is a little gentler. And it’s a good time for gentle.
*Update: I’ve figured out I can browse to Uber’s mobile site (m.uber.com) on my computer so I can still order Uber cabs, at least when I have a computer with Internet. Kinda amazing how long I might last without a phone…