I Gave Up My Smart Phone for a Year

My kids were splashing and playing at the indoor pool at the rec center near my house.

I was sitting on a bench watching them, while also perusing through my iPhone, checking email, reading blogs, looking at Instagram, etc. And this thought kept surfacing, “What if someone recognizes me as the girl who wrote the Unwired Mom and here I am sitting on my iPhone while my kids play without me.”

I looked around.

When I went to the pool yesterday, I took a notebook and pen and convinced myself I’d use my time to write: I’d sketch out bits of life and notes and intersections on how I really want to live. I like making life-maps.

But I didn’t write, I got online, for pretty much the whole time. And there is nothing wrong with doing that, but for me, I felt…not true.

I knew I wasn’t just on my iPhone; I had to be on it. The pull was so great. And so I took my notebook and pen and I wrote a list of pros and cons for having an iPhone:

Pros

I can look up phone numbers (Internet)

I can get directions (Internet)

I can listen to podcasts/music/audiobooks wherever I am

I can use it in my house to play music/audiobooks over our Wi-Fi speaker

Voxer (I love this app)

Sharing life on Instagram

Cons

Constant pull to be online – check email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

Always on it, even while driving

The pros list is longer, but the cons list is heavier.

I made some calls to find out if there was some device that I could use to listen to podcasts, music, and audiobooks without having a phone or Internet attached. The kind lady at the Apple store told me about the iPod Nano, which would do what I wanted, but would cost $149. I then called the Verizon store because I’m up for a free new phone in two weeks. I told her what I was looking for and she said I could get a cell phone (not a smart phone = no Internet) but I could keep my iPhone and use it without a data plan. In other words, I could still use the iPhone for podcasts, music, and audiobooks and use the Wi-Fi function in my home (since we have Wi-Fi) to play those things over our Wi-Fi speakers, but not have Internet or phone when I left my house. Perfect.

Come July 11th, I will be Internet free while out and about.

I will miss Voxer (Logan, how will you ever do without my morning songs?).

I will miss the easy access to phone numbers and directions.

I will miss Instagram.

I will miss a lot of things, I’m sure. I might even kick myself. But I’ve got to be authentic, and I’ve got to be free.

Many of you will read this and think, “Girl, why are you so drastic? Just use a little self-control! For the love!”

I hear you, I do. But I know myself and my weaknesses, and I would just rather be drastic in this case.

So it is.

Here’s to living true.

Love, SM

Sarah Mae

Sarah Mae spends her days home-making, home-educating, writing, reading, and drinking salted caramel mochas. Her family embraces life in the beautiful Amish country-side of Pennsylvania. She is the owner of the community site Allume and the co-host of the national Christian women’s social media conference.