No Cell Zone

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They’re everywhere.  They’re standing in the middle of walkways, at the grocery stores, at shopping malls, walking down city sidewalks, they are your own friends that you haven’t seen in months sitting across from you at the restaurant booth.  They are all doing that familiar thing, that incredibly common sight this day in age.  Come on…you know what I am talking about by now, right?  I am talking about that human with their head faced down and that far away glaze in their eyes as they look down at a tiny screen on a gadget that fits ever so perfectly between their hands.

I’m guilty of it.  You’re guilty of it.  Anyone that owns a cell phone, whether or not it’s a “smart” phone is guilty of it.  I guarantee that in your time of owning a cell phone you have either tripped over uneven sidewalk, ignored your friend, or blocked someone’s way in a store aisle because of cell phone distraction.  I absolutely guarantee it, we are glued to them.  They hold the whole world inside of them.  We feel naked leaving the house without them.  With the push of a button we can find newer and better of anything: cars, houses, lovers.

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A few weekends ago, I decided to have a cell phone fast for one day.  The battery on my phone had died the Friday evening before and I decided that I would just not plug it into a charger until Sunday afternoon.  To my surprise, as soon as I set the cell phone fast as an intention, I felt incredibly at peace and had a sense of relief when I realized I wouldn’t have to respond to anyone or anything on a tiny screen until Sunday.  I became excited at thought of not having to feel guilty in not responding to someone.

I caught up on so many things that I had been putting off for so long.  I finished chores around the house, including the two loads of laundry and washing the pile of dishes stacked like a Jenga tower on my bedroom desk.  I finished a library book that had been racking up an over due fine for well over a month.  I went on a two-hour nature walk/jog and locked eyes or smiled with a few other passersby.  I caught up with two of my roommates who I have had more interaction with on Facebook messenger than in real life.

Call me crazy but, I imagine a world where we smile when we have low batteries
Cause that will mean we’ll be one bar closer – to humanity

–Prince Ea

I have realized that my addiction to my cell phone has become just as bad as any other addiction that I have ever had.  It is just another distraction keeping me from what I really want or should be doing.  It has become a way to numb my brain out from thinking about thoughts that I don’t want to face.  It is another way to avoid facing up to things that are hurting me or things that I need to heal.  There are so many options and possibilities of things to do on my cell phone, it’s like being at a virtual amusement park for adults.

I understand that there is the other side of the coin.  I know that cell phones are devices of convenience and helpful in many aspects.  I know that it is part of what is able to connect us to everyone and everything.  Someone in another country might be reading these very words I am typing out right now and that is absolutely amazing.  But what gets me, what really gets me is this: what if it were all to crash tomorrow?  I mean truly, everything changes and nothing stays the same.

I just want to be more alert and aware of when I reach down for my phone, what is it that is drawing me there?  What is it within me that is feeling so uncomfortable with my own thoughts that I need to distract my mind with external validation from technology?  I want to change my ways.  I think I want to dedicate a time to look at it, maybe instead of first thing in the morning, I can look at it briefly at my lunch hour and for a set time after work: thirty minutes or less and that’s it.  I just want more moment-to-moment awareness and connection, how about you?

18 comments on “No Cell Zone

  1. We went camping a couple weeks ago and left our cells behind. It was weird to imagine a bear outside our tent without being able to call a ranger or neighbour. We survived and are much better off for the time spent away from our phones.

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    • Thanks G for reading, let me know how it goes for you (checking phone 3 times per day) and to answer your question, I kept dishes downstairs because where I was living last month I had 4 roomies and someone was always using the sink and I had to climb a ladder to get upstairs so my desk was more convenient 😊 and I am so grateful I am not living like that anymore haha

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  2. Oh I soooo relate to this. Recently I’ve taken a break from Facebook and I’m enjoying being distraction-free! I’m always amazed at how everywhere I go, people are glued to their phones (yes, me included)! I really miss the simpler days…but I guess it’s all about finding that balance between enjoying the amazing wonders of technology and not letting them rule us. Much love! Aleya

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  3. Awe. My mentor a while back had me do a technology fast for 3 days. It was pretty amazing. I couldn’t get very many to try it with me — only my little daughter who gladly traded tv for full mommy attention. Now I naturally do them all the time and can’t imagine life without my “prayer breaks.” It isn’t easy at first, I admit. Great post. Thanks for visiting my blog.
    — Laurie

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  4. Striking a balance between living in the moment and participating in technology throughout the day is indeed a very tough discipline. Technology is amazingly advanced and it is fascinating and fun to be able to see news stories from around the world instantly !! It can keep us in touch instantly with people all over the world which can be good as well. Your article makes me more aware of where and when technology should be used. It can and does take over my life in and alarming way. I often don’t live in the moment and can be distracted by social media. The other evening when out on a date with Paul, I was busy responding to a text. His response was one of hurt because he felt that I wasn’t enjoying the evening out with him which wasn’t my intention at all! It brought about hurt in an instant that could have ruined quality time I intended to spend with someone I love. Your article helps me to be aware that this is something that requires some tough discipline and prompts me to be aware of my intentions to live a more balanced life!! Thank you, Ilona!!

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    • Thank you for your lengthy comment and story….I think many people can relate to that feeling of hurt, even thought it’s not intentional, that people can have when there significant other/friend or what not is busy with technology. I’m so happy the article helped😊thanks for reading it!! 💖

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