The Cell Phone Cleanse

One of my New Years resolutions is to stop being a slave to my phone and to stop wasting time on Facebook. I've often thought of downgrading to the run of the mill "drug dealer" phone that can simply take incoming and make outgoing calls… and that's it. Before making that drastic change {because sometimes I do need to answer client emails on the road}, I tried this little cleanse first… here are my results. Step 1: Preliminary “leaving the phone behind”

I am sick of being so attached to a stupid phone, which is more like a computer that takes over my life. I need to be spending LESS time with my phone and MORE time with people IN PERSON or via Skype for those long distance folks! I need to be focused on what I'm doing and to stop and smell the roses.

I was so accustomed to looking at my phone for no reason. It was like an involuntary thing, even if I were in a conversation with someone in person, I’d look at my phone and listen at the same time… how rude. One thing that really started to annoy me was that if I was alone, waiting for something or someone I’d immediately go on my phone to distract myself. I think this is a horrible thing for an artist to do. Artists of any kind should double think the next time they do this, you are a visual and creative person, you need to be paying attention to your surroundings. I personally have the need to look around, observe things, shapes, colors, shadows contrasting with light, people's expressions, all the little details that an average person coule care less to notice. I felt I needed to take in the life that I’m living and be more present and aware.

So now, when I leave the house with Justin, I leave my phone at home. This wasn't THAT hard for me considering I was so fed up, it was rather liberating. After a few weeks, low and behold, I'd come home to a screen full of missed calls or text messages but guess what? No one died because I didn’t answer right away. As a matter of fact, no one even noticed! It has since been so liberating leaving home with no phone. I no longer feel like I’m a slave to whoever wants to get in touch with me when it's convenient for them. If it's important they'll leave a message for me to call them back, plain and simple.

Step 2: removing the facebook app from my phone

Admittedly, this was really hard for me at first. I would go on facebook while lying in bed, the first thing I did in the morning and the last thing I’d do at night (Justin would not like this). I’d even bring it into the bathroom with me… what? What is wrong with me? PUT THE PHONE DOWN APRIL! As crazy as it sounds, by removing this app I was one step closer to taking my life back and treating this phone for what it is… a phone! Not a lifeline. I would still go on facebook, but only when I’m sitting at a computer.

Guess what happened after that?


I would go on facebook a few times a day if I was sitting at my computer or sometimes not at all. No more wasting time on stuff that I don’t even care about! Facebook has started to become more annoying to me than anything.  And what’s more, a portion of the people I’m “friends” with on Facebook I’ve never even met in real life! How’s that for a reality check, um April, how about catching up with people you’ve actually met in person.

Step 3: Well apparently all I needed was a 2 step cleanse

Over this month my phone has really faded into the background of my life. I’ll leave it in the other room, not hear it or pick it up and I’m completely fine with that. I have voicemail and can call people back and believe it or not, it’s totally acceptable by those who call me! And guess what, no one cares that I don’t answer their text messages as soon as I receive them. I no longer feel like I’m slave to this mind numbing piece of plastic.

I’ve started to bring my real camera with me when I go out instead of using the camera on my phone {also one of my goals}. This has allowed me to practice the art of photography rather than the art of iphone snapshots.

I have been skyping a lot more with friends and family, getting that sweet facetime in.

I have become more focused on what I'm doing.

I’ve become more aware and present in my own life from day to day. I don’t live my life in front of my phone anymore. I am more aware of what’s going on around me; I notice details and the little things again. I'll have small talk with the lady at the cash register or the guy bagging my groceries. I make it a point to say Hi to people in passing. I know I probably sound uber dramatic, but man, this was really happening to me and it needed to change.

So...I challenge you, my trusty reader - who may be facing cell phone addiction, to take this challenge. Start out small and take baby steps, you’ll be amazed at how much better your own life is and stop living life through your phone or facebook.  If you’re brave enough to actually do this I’d love to hear your story and what actions you took and how it affected your daily life moving forward.

Peace, Love & Focusing on what matters,

April K