Tuesday, September 01, 2015

in which I give up my smart phone and take back my life


I've known things have needed to change for a while. Any time I had a free second, my first instinct was to grab my phone and disappear. Too many times when my children asked me a question, I answered without taking my eyes from the screen. Or I didn't answer as kindly as I could have because I felt like they were interrupting me. Interrupting me from my instagram! I realize how ridiculous this sounds. But as much as I tried to manage it, it wasn't working. I wasn't getting any better at being present.

Also, Mabel keeps asking for an iPhone and I keep telling her no (as mine is glued to my hand). It just didn't feel right or fair.

So when my friend, Annie, told me she traded in her iPhone for a more basic model, it was like the heavens parted and my answer was clear. I could ditch my smart phone! All of a sudden I felt free. A burden was lifted off my shoulders and my future looked bright. I didn't have to be tied to a phone anymore. I could just get rid of it. Simple as that! I had somehow survived before I had a smartphone, right? Mike was very supportive.

So I did it. You're looking at my new phone right there. It's like turning back the clock to 2010. It's great for making calls and answering texts.  And it's blissfully instagram and Facebook and internet free. My kids think it's super cool. All of those fun little buttons! Ha!

Full disclosure: We still have an iPad mini, so I can check in with instagram from time to time. But the idea is that an iPad is a lot less convenient to carry around all day. So far that has been true, and I have been happier and more content and more "here". It's funny how once you give something up, you realize you don't even miss it.

What I've realized most of all, though, is that it's never too late to make a change for the better. If I do this now, my kids probably won't remember the mom who was addicted to her phone. They say the best time to plant a tree is either 20 years ago or today. I can't change what I've done in the past, but I can certainly decide to make better choices today.

18 comments:

  1. I took a break from mine a couple of years ago and it was awesome. But I did get one again recently because I needed a new camera, and wanted one that took good video so it just made more sense to have a smart phone, but I've definitely noticed its glued to my side more than I would like. It's crazy how fast it turns into an addiction isn't it? I also noticed when I took a break from my smart phone I wasn't on instagram at all anymore and I missed capturing my kiddos. I don't love how my phone is such a habit, but I know I won't regret capturing memories. The struggle is real! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i'm hoping this change will force me to use my real camera more. it's silly that all of the pictures of my kids are grainy cell phone snaps when i have a really nice camera sitting right there! thanks for sharing your experience. :)

      Delete
  2. Oh gee. Mom Award!
    And my kids are way older, so parental'y and as an example, they aren't around watching. Therefore I am truly 'competing' with myself. I choose to refine for the sake of self-improvement alone . . . and That is a Truly never ending road one feels no one may notice when you are slowing down. In and of itself that motivates me.
    (Rambling, sorry ;))

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are an inspiration Stephanie!

      Delete
  4. I am so happy for you! Best decision I ever made! And the first few times I took the camera for photos I felt silly, but not when it was easy to upload and order prints and blog.

    Lame phone bff's forever!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good for you Stephanie! I just barely got a smart phone and refuse to add many apps to it for that very reason. Plus, it is true that real pics from a real camera are so much more satisfying. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I call my cell phone my "brick", because it is slightly more useful than a brick. Because of your post, I appreciate it more for what it doesn't do. : )

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like that quote about planting a tree, too. Sometimes it does feel like it's just too late for some positive changes. But it's not!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have been so frustrated with the lack of phones offered that are not "smart phones'. When I told Verizon that we wanted phones for my teenage boys that didn't have internet access they looked at us like we were from another planet. Does your new phone have NO internet access? Just wondering because I have been looking for one, yet I still want texting capabilities. If anyone has any suggestions let me know!
    As far as you doing it! Bravo! That is awesome. I don't think I am there yet. I have made little rules for myself, like no phone when the kids are in the room..only check social media or internet once a day max. I do love the Mormon Channel App...that's how I get all my Conference listened too. Overall, though....there are other ways to do that! Way to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. this phone can access the internet, though i can't imagine it being very convenient. the screen is so tiny! it can't access wifi. i just removed the little internet icon on the home screen.

      Delete
  9. LOVE this! Good for you and I think it has given me a lot to think about. We just got rid of cable TV and it has been so nice and I think this would feel even better.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We are on the same page! I gave up facebook 5 years ago, best decision I ever made and have never looked back. I love instagram, too. I was checking in way too much during the day, so I deleted the app and voila (although you can put it back on in a matter of minutes). I can still access it from my computer, but that takes too much time. I check in at night and it's something I look forward to after the kids are in bed and lunches are made ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. You always inspire me with your thoughtful way of living, Stephanie. I was telling Ryan about this last night and he was so impressed. This might just be the change I need. I'll keep you posted. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  13. That last comment was me. I don't know what happened with my account. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. My friends and myself cannot post a comment using iphone or tablets. You can type it in but when you select the type of user you are, it boots you off and you lose your comment. Very frustraiting to get people to participate in your blog if it doesnt work. My blog is a Rubber Matting uk

    ReplyDelete

Hello! Thank you for your comment. I'd love to respond, and it is much easier if your account is linked to your email address. Or, you could just email me at barefootstephanie@gmail.com. Thank you!