Unplugged: My Life Without a Cell Phone!

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You’re probably wondering why on earth don’t I have a cell phone. Well, this was 100% unequivocally not by choice! My cell phone went on the fritz a few days ago and is now completely out of commission.

I tried everything. I talked with a company representative. I even went so far as to go to the store and give them permission to do a hard reset (which literally wipes EVERYTHING off your phone and starts all over) – just so I could have the use of my phone. That didn’t work. I told myself it was a sign from the universe. I was at the mercy of the cell phone gods. After my initial mental breakdown, I had no choice but to let it go. For a couple of days, I had no contact with the outside world, meaning no text messaging, no checking my e-mails, no calling friends or family, nothing!

I know some of you are laughing right now, but seriously think about it: How addicted are you to your phones? How hard would it be to go without a cell phone for a couple of days or a week? How weird would it feel to go about your day without constantly checking your phone, checking Twitter or Facebook, texting a friend or using your navigator? You would feel naked and lost.

So, what did I do? I gave up the control, because there was nothing I could do to fix the situation. I was going to have to wait for a new phone to arrive in the mail. I actually came to relax a bit about it. It forced me to be more “present” in my life, to engage more in activities without being a prisoner to my phone. I would never admit this to anyone (except the large audience reading this right now), but I kind of liked it. It broke a really bad habit of constantly looking at the phone, and forced me to get back to a way of life that was a bit simpler and more meaningful.

I am not saying I can’t wait for my new phone to arrive, because I am sure I will be watching closely for the UPS truck to pull up, but I am saying that I am going to be more aware of how addicted I am to the phone.

Here’s what I learned from the whole experience:

Always back up important info

Do not rely on technology, ever! When I could not access my contacts in my cell phone, I freaked. I had nobody’s cell phone numbers anywhere other than on my phone. It freaked me out that I couldn’t call people when I needed to. So always have a copy of important information elsewhere. Print out your contacts. Create a back-up copy of important details. I once had a password app on my phone and when my phone died, all my saved passwords were gone. I literally had to go through every single website and create new passwords from scratch. Not fun! Now I have everything written down just in case.

Don’t forget to disconnect

Put the phone away! Do not be consumed with your phone every second of the day. You are missing really important moments in your life. Nothing is more important or so important that it has to distract you from life itself. Take a cell phone reprieve every now and then. Just tuck it away in your purse and pretend it isn’t there. I guarantee life will still go on and the world will not fall off its axis :)

Relinquish control every now and then

After my mental break and tantrum, which of course didn’t change anything, I had no choice but to let it go. Control only leads to stress. Take a deep breath, realize what you can and can’t do, and then let it go. You will be much happier when you push the control aside and go with the flow.

Well, I am off to begin my day, cell phone free and all! I do not wish this experience on any of you, but I do hope you can learn from my pain:) Remember what is most important in life, not sending a quick Twitter update, but really creating memories with family and friends. Take a break every now and then and get more engaged in your life.

Have a great day everyone!

Leslie Gail is a Lifestyle and Simplicity expert and Coach. She lives in Denver with her kids and husband. You can find out more about her here.

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