Hey friends, today I want to share about something pretty cool that I decided to do: get rid of my iPhone.
Well actually, I switched out my iPhone with The Light Phone.
Many of you probably have never heard of The Light Phone and don't know what that is (I will get into those details soon). But first, I want share about the problem I was experiencing with a highly connected, highly distracted life...
The smartphone. We all have it (well, most of us do). The smartphone truly allows us to do so many things at the touch of our fingertips. We can find recipes for dinner, pay bills, take photos, store photos, remember things, navigate places.... you name it.
We can do all these things almost effortlessly. It's amazing.
However, I have a problem with the smartphone. My problem with my iPhone is that I'm addicted.
While the iPhone tells me that it will make me more free by allowing me to do all these things whenever I want, I have found that it's more like I'm chained to my iPhone.
The problem with being able to do everything with the iPhone, is that my life is so intricately dependent on it that I feel like I can't go anywhere or do anything unless it is on me.
To me, that's a problem.
I don't know about you, but I want to live a free life. I don't want to be so attached and dependent on something that when I don't have it, I feel crippled.
Try going a day without your smartphone.
I did. It felt like I was missing a limb.
Do we really want to be so dependent on something that when we lose it, we feel like part of our body just got chopped off?
Then there's the problem with my constant distractedness.
I'm telling you, I found myself at a point a few months ago sitting at a stop light and automatically reaching for my phone to check my emails. My emails. Why would I need to do that in the middle of my commute? It had become muscle memory, reaching for my phone during moments of silence or lulls in the day. It's like my arm knew what to do without me even thinking: grab the phone, find out if someone texted me, find out if someone loved me today, distract myself with apps so I'm not alone with myself and quiet in the moment.
And this is what scared me: that even in my own solitude and silence, I was incapable of simply being. I was always reaching for my phone somehow. Setting limits? Forget it. Self-discipline with that iPhone rarely worked.
I would say that I had an addiction.
Maybe this sounds familiar.
But I cannot be too hard on myself or others because this is how the iPhone was designed. To be used as long as possible, for as many things as possible. While at first that sounds amazing, I have been starting to realize that that's actually a recipe for dependence, slavery– intellectual, physical, and emotional slavery in every sense of the word.
Last month, I decided that I don't want to be a slave anymore. I want to be free.
The Light Phone
(This is not sponsored: just purely sharing my experience.)
I was at an event where I met this young woman who was using a phone that did not look smart. But it did not look dumb either. The best way I can describe it is that it was a minimalist smartphone.
What does that mean?
Well, it has your basics. All the things you need in order to "survive" in this high tech world: phone calls, texting, alarm, GPS navigation, podcast, music, wifi hotspot.
The Light Phone is designed to be used as little as possible. It's the phone that actually respects you.
In order to use, all you have to do is move your SIM card (small chip that holds your phone service) from your iPhone to the Light Phone. That's it. You could switch back and forth if you wanted to use the Light Phone as a weekend phone, or as a phone to disconnect periodically. Or you can keep it in the Light Phone permanently like I do.
I would like to write a detailed review on the Light Phone, so you can learn more about what I like about the Light Phone and what I think it's lacking (but I'll have to save that for another post).
For now, all I will tell you is that it's been almost a month of me using this phone and here are some things I've been able to do with the Light Phone...
1) Take my mornings back.
Before when I had my iPhone, my alarm would ring in the morning. Shortly after waking up and turning off my alarm, I would check my emails... because I mean, the app is just there... it will take just a second anyways... 10 minutes later I've just consumed a bunch of information that really didn't need to be consumed at that hour.
Now, with my Light Phone, my alarm rings, and I wake up. There is nothing on the Light Phone to entice me to do anything else besides turn off my alarm. No emails to check. No social media to catch up on. Just me, the sunrise, and silence...... Can you imagine this? Now, my mornings belong once again to me. It's absolutely revolutionary.
Photo credit: Pinterest
2) Have better conversations.
Without an iPhone to distract me, I've been having better conversations with friends and family in person and over the phone. In person, I'm just more present. I make eye contact with the people I'm with. I don't need to check my phone because there's really nothing on there of interest except the basics.
Also, because the texting feature on the Light Phone is a bit slow, it actually makes you want to pick up the phone and call someone to reply to them instead of text them back. This has led me to some unexpected but wonderful phone calls, reconnecting with people I love.
Recently, I decided to call a friend instead of texting her back, and this led to me actually finding out some things she's going through in her life that I would have never known about if we were just texting. I can say the Light Phone has pushed me to be a better and more available friend in that way.
When was the last time you just did nothing? I mean, really disconnect and just were? The biggest reason I got the Light Phone is because in moving into this new studio, I knew I would be spending more time in solitude.
However, the saddest thing I could think of was how I cannot help but reach for my phone in moments of boredom. You guys, I seriously have a problem. I don't have the focus to sit down to read a book without *needing* to periodically check my phone. That's how distracted I am. How addicted I am.
But now, I have a Light Phone...
This week, it was raining. For the first time in a long time, I sat on my sofa with a book and read to the sound of the pattering, restful rain. There was no iPhone to entice me to check anything. For the first time in forever, I was truly present.
To me, this is everything.
I don't want to waste my life being distracted and slave to a device. No. I want to be free, and I think this movement toward minimalist smartphones is the answer.
Do you want to be free?
I would strongly encourage any of you who feel addicted to your phone in any way to consider investing in a minimalist smartphone like the Light Phone (there are also other good options out there that you could check out).
The simple fact is that we have one short life. Just one. How do you want to live it? What do you want to see when you look back on your life? The you who was highly connected but thoroughly distracted? Or the you who was less connected but intentional and more present?
I've heard it said that if the devil can't lead you to sin, he will try to distract you and delay your living out your true mission.
How many times do you go to into a room with the intention of getting something important, but then get distracted by your phone and end up doing something else like checking social media or reading an email, and then ultimately forgetting why it was that you entered that room initially.
If the devil cannot lead you to sin, he will try to stop you from living out your purpose.
Let's take back our lives.
Let's lead the intentional, present, and focused lives that God has called us to lead. Let's reclaim our life and find beauty in the silence, the immeasurably precious here and now.