My Life Without a Cellphone
I live a life without a cellphone. It has been almost 2 years since I used one. I should clarify – I HAVE a cellphone – a Blackberry pearl that is ancient – but it is a bonafide alarm clock. So why do I travel without a cellphone? What made me give it up? And why do I know my future will be without one too?
I like to live my life. I pay attention to the things that happen around me. I like to hear the wind, feel the wind, and smell what comes wafting my way. I like to see all the colours around me, watch the people sauntering by as I sit my fruit smoothie on the road side. It is all the little details of life that I like. Cellphones make you miss these little details.
I can understand the advantages of cellphones. But I can not pass over the negative effects of cellphones. Cellphones disconnect us from the world, from each other. It takes us into a digital world that we engulf ourselves in and rarely try to escape from. People spend their days with their heads bent, noses pressed to their cellphone screens, walking from point A to point B without ever seeing all the details in between.
I talk a lot, I like to be social, and engage with those around me. When I’m out for dinner, I want the people I am out with to actually be there – not be texting or checking their social media. And yet, taking out a cellphone during a meal or social call is now common place – it is accepted. But it is not to me. I want to engage with those around me – not feel like I come second to their digital lives. So I always ask others to put their phones away until after the dinner. There is NOTHING that urgent that cannot wait until after the dinner – and if it IS an emergency you will receive the elusive phone call.
I gave up my cellphone so that I would never waste the time I have with people face-to-face to be in the digital world. I spend a significant amount of time on my laptop already, I don’t need to spend the time I have away from it, not truly being away from it. I will never give up the internet – but not owning a cellphone is different. Not owning a cellphone allows me to pay attention to my life around me every second. I never miss what is happening NOW to live in the digital past. Social Media connections will never replace actual connections. So I choose to live now.
Not everybody can agree. Actually, MOST people wouldn’t agree. They would never give up their cellphone because of all the advantages. Yes there are applications that make your life easier, and it is a tool to keep you entertained on long journeys, and it is a form of security in emergency situations. But no matter the advantages, to me, they don’t outweigh the distractions it brings to my life overall. The constant disconnection from everything around me leaves me feeling bored and alone. I’d rather spend my time writing in a journal, reading a book for information, talking to the person next to me on the bus, and keeping my cellphone for absolute emergencies which, hopefully, I will never need.
So this is why I live without a cellphone. I want to connect to people – in real life.