Life Without a Cell Phone
I was in New Orleans recently. Let me tell you, it was one of the most magical, amazing cities I have ever been to and I can’t say enough positive things about it.
However, while out and about dancing with my boyfriend on Bourbon Street, I realized I was pickpocketed. Needless to say, it interrupted a bit of our fun. I was shocked and annoyed. I have never lost anything or have had anything stolen from me (other than a make up bag full of lip gloss and face glitter from the gym locker room when I was in 7th grade but that’s another story). It was such a bummer because I was wearing a cross body bag, which I rarely do on a night out. I usually bring a clutch with a zipper that I wrap around my wrist, I just didn’t this time because I figured let’s not over pack per usual. It was just insane how neither one of us noticed. Those jerks are scrappy and pretty dang sly!
Anyway, 25 bucks, my room key and my beautiful cell phone, gone. I was pretty upset. It was 2 AM in NOLA and midnight in California so I called my parents and told them what happened and thankfully, they called and suspended my account right away. (Thanks Mom and Dad! I love you!Oh the joys of parenting, it never really ends).
I decided to look at it as though maybe this stupid thief needed the money more than I do. Looking at things that way always helps. (It’s a strategy I have used in the past. I also name stains, zits, car scratches or things like that to humanize them so I’m less upset. Neurotic or funny? Probably both). I also realized a few things that I did early in the day just by chance that I am so grateful I did now looking back.
First, right before we left, I had my Kate Spade wallet that my boyfriend gave me for Christmas in my bag. Then I decided “that’s dumb, I don’t need to bring this whole thing” and put my license and credit card in the side zipper. This move, for obvious reasons, definitely saved me a lot of heartache.
Second, we went to a plantation tour that day and had some time on the bus. During that time, I sent every one of my favorite pictures to the group text I have with my mom, dad and sister. My happy self just trying to give them a little vacation envy really saved me a lot of grief. As you know, and pretty obviously since I am a blogger, taking pictures is important to me. It’s creative, fun and I love having the memories to keep so I was so relieved once my mom and sister sent all the pictures I sent them back the next morning to my boyfriend’s phone. SCORE!
The city was so amazing and I loved the trip so much, it didn’t really put a damper on it. And once I decided to look at that klepto as someone possibly in a tight spot and desperate for cash, it made me feel far less inclined to go to one of the many local voo doo shops and ask for a hex to be put on them.
Anyways, it has been interesting not having my phone for a few days so I just wanted to do a post on some of the things I have noticed.
- You are okay with being alone
There is no buffer here. When my boyfriend left to go to the bathroom or make a purchase, I was by myself in stores or restaurants and not distracted by any screen. It makes you more comfortable with that in public silence. Granted, after college I went through a phase where I made sure I challenged myself a lot and got out of my comfort zone. I have eaten at a restaurant by myself before because of this and also have seen a movie by myself and have gone to plenty of events for auditions, blogs, etc. by myself and just made friends while I was there. It really is a fantastic life skill to challenge yourself with. This absence of my phone though just reminded me of it and honed that skill back up.
- You observe more
I got some hilarious people watching in. I noticed décor, music, smells and scenery that I would have otherwise been distracted by. It really just enhanced all my other senses and kept me in the moment.
- You de-stress
I wasn’t worried about answering emails, text messages or blog post comments. I was set free of the technology chains and honestly the break of having that looming responsibility was nice. I had no control, all thoughts on the matter had to be relinquished, there was nothing I could do so I just decided to ride with the tide.
- I didn’t feel as safe
My security blanket was gone so I stuck tight to my other half as much as possible. This is a case where it is okay to be a Stage 5 Clinger. ;o) In all seriousness though, your phone is a fantastic safety tool and it’s especially important when traveling. That’s where maps, Google, communication lie and without it I felt vulnerable and a little naked.
- I read more
I no longer had Instagram, Pinterest, my blog or the Duolingo app to keep me entertained on the bus or during any downtime, so I busted out my book and enjoyed that solitude and quiet time of jumping into another world, totally distraction free!
Now I don’t wish a stolen phone upon anyone. It’s a hassle, it’s violating, it’s wrong and it is simply just not ideal. However, looking on the bright side, it has been a great break from technology and a fantastic reminder of what we miss out on when are little eyes are glued to our screens. It’s a good challenge at least for a day! Try it out!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JENNA WHITECAR
I work in marketing for a technology company in San Francisco. I earned my degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University where I graduated in three years with honors. With a passion for art, travel, food, fitness, fashion, and of course, writing, I started my lifestyle blog, Jenna Rose Colored Glasses, where I aim to create a creative, fun, relatable space for women to get inspired and share ideas. I am also a freelance content writer for various businesses and am working on a novel.