I finally turned my phone off for the whole day

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from Kansas City, MO
Published: December 15, 2012


Up until today, I have positively refused to turn my phone off unless, of course, it shut off on its own due to excessive usage. Even then I had time to mentally prepare myself for the fact that I would have no phone. But today, for some strange reason, I just didn’t feel like having my phone on. Maybe it’s because it’s cloudy, or because I’m feeling angst-y, or because my friends can’t seem to stop fighting over political standpoints on Facebook – a site I frequent often. I just don’t want to deal with it today.

It’s a strange feeling, but also relaxing. I’m near a house phone so if anything should happen that I need to know about somebody can call home. I feel less distracted because I’m not tempted to pick my phone up and start browsing websites (a problem I tend to have while attempting to multitask). There is a sense of clear-headedness about not having to worry about everybody’s every waking move all the time.

I guess I was wrong about having my phone turned off after all. This whole time I thought I would freak out, and on any other day I think that I would. But since today is probably one of the least busy days I will probably have for the rest of the year, I’ve decided to take it easy and just shut everything down. I plan on reading a book – a real book. With pages and “that book smell” and everything; I’m not even going to use my Kindle.

It’s funny to me, because when people would use the same words that I’m using now to describe what it’s like to not have a working cell phone (whether they broke their phone, lost it, etc.) I never believed them. I don’t know why I didn’t; probably because I felt I could never feel that way when my phone was turned off. I couldn’t relate. But now I can see that it really does feel like another world. I mean, I feel like I could do anything! You know, as long as it doesn’t require using my phone. So I guess it’s more like “I feel like I can do a lot of things!”

Of course, there are things I can’t ignore with my phone turned off. Things I would normally do from my phone, like checking e-mail (work, specifically) is still important and can’t be avoided. For that, I have to go old school and listen for my computer to ding with the notifications. Or just come back to my computer and check every once in a while if I happen to be away from it.

In a way, I feel like a hunter-gatherer, working with raw resources to survive the day without the use of most technology. Some technology. Okay, I’m still using a lot of technology, but my main source of entertainment has been shut down, so that should account for something right? Maybe not. But I do feel somewhat empowered by being able to actually bring myself to do this. It feels good, man.

Like I said, I’m not exactly sure why I decided to do this, but today just seemed like a good day for such an experiment. Have you ever felt like just shutting down your phone for the day? If so, did you feel better after doing so, or did you end up turning your phone back on sooner rather than later? Let me know how you handled it in the comments!

P.S. Should I relapse; dishonor. Dishonor on my whole family!