This past week, I undertook a seemingly impossible task…I went without my cell phone for a week.
I was challeneged by a few of my fellow Student Ministries Pastors to take a phone fast for a week. They thought I would be in the featle position keeled over and useless by day 3. There was no such drama. I decided to take them up on their challenge and thought it was a good idea.
I was spurred on, not only by their challenge, but by a YS article I read Titled: “Do You Need a Digital Sabbath?” by Andrew Burden. So like I said, I took the plunge and reliquished my phone for a whole week.
Being away from my phone was weird, and I’ll admit difficult at times. I felt “Phantom buzzing” on my leg for the first few days but I didn’t have the amount of withdrawl I assumed I would have.
I hated not being able to just call someone, or just check my email without having to lug out a computer. I despised the fact that when someone had to get ahold of me, they couldn’t because I wasn’t always connected to a phone…yet I liked this as well. Not being on “constant call” has its perks.
I am a guy who leans heavily on his pda (which is also my phone) to remind me of meetings and tasks that need to get done. I realized I’m not as bad as I thought at remembering to do stuff.
I found that people were more upset about my no phone usage than I was myself. People had gotten used to me being always available and when I wasn’t, this bugged them.
Some people I need to be in constant contact with (like my wife) but others, not so much.
I found it hard not being able to text a quick note to someone or ask a quick question via text…I didn’t realize how much I relied on text messaging throughout the day until this little experiment.
I am the kind of guy that enjoys networking on facebook, twitter and the like, so my constant ability to check those sites was gone for a week…which I will admit was hard.
I learned a ton about this little challenge:
1. I don’t need to rely on my phone nor constant connection as much as I thought I did
2. I need more time away from my phone so I can spend more time on family and tasks
3. Letting go of my phone for meetings (by leaving it in my office) will be what I do from now on, even though I may get bored without it.
4. When I drown out the communication with the world, I can have better communication with God
5. People like me being available, which is good but most people shouldn’t be relying on “instant communication” with me.
6. I enjoyed some of the freedoms not having a phone brought about.
All in all, it was a good experience. One I will repeat at smaller spurts but never again for a whole week. Although the challenge was good because it was hard, a week without a cell phone in todays world was just too much.
Well, that’s what I learned from being unplugged from my cell phone. Maybe you should think about unplugging from something…