This past Tuesday morning, my phone -which has always seemed like an iLemon and, as I've now found out, is eligible for not one but two part recalls- fritzed out in a grim way. Its capacitive touch screen refused to register 99% of all input, and so, while I could see and hear that I was receiving emails, texts and calls, I could do nothing to acknowledge or access those. As the iPhone 6 is not yet out and I have a few weeks left on my contract before I can purchase a new one at the reduced rate, T said he'd fix mine by installing a new screen which he quickly ordered and was to arrive yesterday. In the meantime, I was phoneless.
The first 24 hours were, I'm sad to admit, rather like what I imagine detox to be like. Though I'd sent a mass email letting everyone know that I was only reachable via home phone and email, I did feel wildly out of touch and slightly insecure. I couldn't let anyone know I was running late. If I were in a wreck, I wouldn't be able to call anyone for help. People couldn't reach me in any immediate way. What was happening on Facebook? When would I get to see those pictures a friend texted me?
As the next day rolled in and back out, I felt increasingly peaceful and less harried. Checking email every five hours versus every five minutes reminded me that my life has little in the way of fires that need to be doused and to-dos that are as urgent as they often feel. There aren't many emails that really need to be answered ASAP. Most Facebook updates aren't life-altering or even important. Twitter and Pinterest haven't even entered my conscience.
Not sleeping with my phone on my night table has meant non-distracted bedtime reading. It's meant waking up each morning without the beckoning buzz of unreads, 90% of which are nothing more than advertisements and utterly inconsequential "news."
Not carrying my phone with me has let my mind slow and be in the moment to a much greater degree than it is when calls and pings make me feel like I'm jumping through a sieve. I've known both that I'm unreachable and that I can't reach out, and that has, frankly, been enormously freeing.
Most of us are so busy, too busy, in the best of times. This forced experiment has taught me that 'right now immediacy' is often a false veil that hides us from peace and mindfulness. It may sound silly, but I have really learned much this week and hope to adjust life in the future accordingly.
Food for thought!