The Day I Forgot My Phone

taber-No-Cell-Phones-AllowedI left the house without my smartphone and didn’t realize it until I arrived at work.

It felt funny at first. I had become used to carrying my phone with me. But as the day went on, I noticed something peculiar. I felt calmer.

There were no texts interrupting my concentration. No buzzing of a phone set to silent to distract me during a meeting. No notifications from apps warning me of impending weather fronts.

I didn’t text my husband with thoughts the second I had them. I didn’t send any “how are you” or “where are you” messages to my daughter.

Jacket.aspxAs if to reinforce the strange but not bad quiet of my day, I saw a book on the new book cart that caught my minimalist eye. The Joy of Less: 101 Stories about Having More by Simplifying Our Lives, a book in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Flipping through the pages, I discovered, by a great cosmic coincidence, a section titled “Joyfully Unplugged”.

This section has stories about taking a sabbatical from Facebook, going without television, and generally disconnecting from electronics in order to reconnect with life. One of my favorites is titled, “Why I Gave My Smartphone a Lobotomy” by Nicole L. V. Mullis. It is simply a short essay about a woman who began to pay more attention to her phone than to those around her and cured herself by deleting all her apps.

I’m not quite ready to do that, but I am ready to lay my phone aside and forget about it from time to time. I don’t need to be available 24/7. I don’t want to be available 24/7.

The quiet of my phoneless day was an unexpectedly nice surprise. I realized with a shock that quiet is now a treat, something that needs to be planned. And, I have decided, it is something worth planning.

Interested in the effects being constantly online? Try these titles, which explore the bad and the good sides of being online:

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Downloadable Audiobooks:

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Taming Information Overload

Ironically, here’s some more information for your information-overloaded life that is actually about coping with all the information that bombards us each day.  Fortunately, you can relax and quickly browse this easy-to-read post. There’s no need for long descriptions. The titles say it all.

ParadoxThe Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Barry Schwartz




organizedThe Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in an Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin




BlurBlur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel




mindfulMindful Tech: How to Bring Balance to Our Digital Lives by David M. Levy




distractionThe Distraction Addiction: Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang