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Last night I woke up
from a dream where I lost my new iPhone. The dream was so vivid that I had a
panic attack and immediately woke up like you do in a dream where you are about
to die. My shiny, beautiful, smooth new phone was gone, and it was unbearable. I
was so embarrassed that my subconscious is even sick of my addiction to my cell
Since becoming a real estate agent, a cell phone — especially
the types we have now — are my portable office. I can reply to a client at the
speed of sound, not miss a $20 million listing call from a stranger (as
if!). I can text my kids back when they are at their other mom's house. And, most
importantly, I don’t feel lonely (there are many solo
lunches when you are selling homes).
That’s how I justify it.
At this point it is my security blanket, and I like to keep
it around. I could cut down on Instagram
and Facebook, since they distract me from what is important. But I do my best to
only check 10,000 times a day. Following
people that workout isn’t really going to help me get in shape, even though I
think it will.
So I decided for the next 24 hours, I will not keep my
phone nearby. I will only check it once. I am not sure how that is even possible. I’m
thinking everyone can wait: emails, my clients, strangers whose lives I follow
and my online shopping.
The first hour was eye-opening. I started to sweat, so I had
to keep myself busy cleaning. I worried I would miss something so important that
it would be life changing. My twins and girlfriend had something to say about
it, since they all noticed pretty quickly. How sad is that?
My track record isn’t great with quitting something I am very fond of, like all the times I have tried to quit Oreos.
Daughter Dautry: “Mama, where is your phone?”
Son Niko: “Mama, probably lost her phone.”
guys, I am not using my phone for the day”
“Good luck with that, Mama,” my 7-year-olds said simultaneously, after laughing for a few seconds. At first I was
offended, and then I appreciated their quick wit. They were speaking the truth.
I am a bit addicted, and I did feel crappy about it.
My girlfriend placed
a bet with the kids on how long I would last. She said I was being brave for
trying, but she’s not sure if a bad dream would be able to keep me away from my
beloved iPhone. I will show them. I refuse to be a creature of habit for these
next 24 hours.
My track record isn’t great with quitting something I am
very fond of, like all the times I have tried to quit Oreos. I start so strong, but then I’d go to Target for a few things. Before I know it, Oreos are in
my shopping cart. I know I am a weak human for this, but I swear there is a
drug in Oreos that keeps me hooked.
I’m thinking this no phone for 24 hours is a little more
power, because I was starting to think I was a bad parent. Who wants to
feel like that? Is there anything worse than that feeling? (Well, maybe not
fitting into your favorite pants.) I mean, it's only 24 hours. I should do a real
challenge, like 72 hours, but I know my limits.
24 hours goes by quickly when you don’t complain.
I was determined to win. I would change the normal habits
I have grown so fond of. I would start my day with correct posture and with my
eyes looking out and not down. I would eat breakfast without reading Twitter. I
would stop texting 10 people in 30 seconds. I will stop liking kid pics on Facebook. I would listen to what my girlfriend was saying (and remember the
conversation later). I would watch TV on my own and with kids without checking Instagram, build Legos with my son Jagger without looking at the time and pee — go pee! —all on my own. Basically, I would only do one thing at a time. How absurd does that
sound in our multi-tasking, wasting-your-time-on-nothing-that-really-has-meaning
Sounds so easy right?
Well, guess what? I did it. These are some of the
benefits I found:
My world did not end. I didn’t receive nasty emails or texts
from angry clients or friends. Oddly enough, I didn’t miss a single thing.
24 hours goes by quickly when you don’t complain.
My kids really enjoyed having my full attention. Cuddling
was off the hook. I was available and present, and they loved it. I am a great
I didn’t get suckered into watching any sort of social media
I didn’t have to constantly charge my phone.
My girlfriend was proud of me (score!!), and I was able to
spend more quality time with her after the kids went to bed.
It was amazing what I could accomplish with two free hands.
I didn’t spend any money ordering online. Sorry, Amazon.
I spoke to a friend
over the phone from my house line. How cool is that? I have a house line, and I
I didn’t need the phone. I realize I am used to it. But at
the end of the day, I didn’t need to access it the whole entire day.
I would change the normal habits I have grown so fond of. I would start my day with correct posture and with my eyes looking out and not down.
So what I have realized is I need to set boundaries. We all have to
control various parts of our lives: how we eat, how we exercise, how we drink,
how to raise our kids. How we use our phone needs to be added to that list.
I don’t necessarily feel like adding this to the list since I enjoy it
most of the time, but my life is begging for me to put the phone down. I know, one day, phones will be as dangerous as cigarettes. I am looking forward to
those ads coming out. But, until then, I will enjoy my time with my family and
friends without it.