3 Surprising Benefits of Living Without a Smartphone
About six months ago, I decided to finally stop using a smartphone.
I say finally because I went back and forth about it for a good three months beforehand.
In the course of these six months, there have only been a few times I regretted my decision. It’s usually a short-lived, “Oh, it would be so much more convenient if…” but let’s be honest, you can do everything on a computer, smartphone or no.
Yea, it makes doing business and keeping up with people a heck of a lot easier.
I mean, I really miss being able to FaceTime my nephew as easily as I could before, but, of course, Facebook has video chat capabilities and Skype is still out there so I’m not lost in the desert without water or anything serious.
So why the change? You ask.
Why give up one of the most convenient pieces of technology on the market? Beyond saving some cash each month, there are a few other surprising benefits to living without a smartphone.
1. A Clear Mind
When I had a smartphone, it was always close to me.
In my pocket or purse or on the table, I knew where it was at all times. So, naturally, I would answer it pretty much all the time.
Now, I only turn the ringer up on my phone when my husband is at work. It sits on my desk or somewhere (I’m actually not sure where it is most of the time), but the benefit of not really knowing means that I don’t really care either.
I’m not constantly thinking about it or using it. When I need it, it’s there, and when I don’t, I’m not sure where it is. Ha!
It’s immensely liberating. My device no longer controls me. I’m the boss.
Probably the most surprising benefit of not owning a smartphone is that I am more open to what is around me.
People, animals, the weather…
I’m not constantly connected to something that can’t communicate back to me. My brain has naturally made room for the things most important to my life. I think that’s pretty cool.
I’m finding that it has also increased my desire to talk to the people in my life.
I’m not always talking to them on social media or texts (it’s really hard on a device that’s only four-ish inches long and has no Internet capabilities), so when I think of them I’m more inclined to reach out and talk on the phone.
NOTE: I normally loathe talking on the phone. Must be magic.
3. Going Old School
This is the opposite of what most people would think is a good thing because it is the less convenient thing, but it has become so much less stressful for me than having everything I need in one device.
Never did I ever think using an “old-fashioned” camera would be so much fun and, usually, quite a bit easier.
While my four-inch long Blu Zoey may have photo taking abilities (BAHA) let’s just say they are not too great. Now, every time I want to take a picture I have to get out our camera. But guess what? I love it!
It’s so easy and fun to use. So while I’m taking pictures or shooting videos, I’m just taking pictures or shooting videos. No more “Oh, got a text” or “Oh, gotta get rid of that notification so I can see my screen.” When I’m taking pics, it’s just me and the camera.
The same goes for listening to music or podcasts. I have a small iPod Shuffle I got, not too long ago actually, to use when I exercise.
It’s still used for those same activities and it’s still small, lightweight, and easy to carry around. I can listen to music or podcasts without being interrupted by beeping or gonging or getting a notification when I get back home.
I turn it on, use it, and turn it off. Again, I’m in control.
What do you think? Am I crazy? What ways have you cut back on technology in your life? Were you glad you did it?