Unplug to Connect: 6 weeks and counting without a cell phone

Cage-dancing at a Burning Man inspired warehouse party in Brooklyn. That’s how I lost my phone.

Going on 6 weeks without a phone. 

Note to self: Bring purse inside the cage with you next time.

I haven't completely unplugged - I can still text and make calls, from any device because I have Google Voice - it’s free and it rocks.

I have returned to the 90’s and I print out Google Maps when I don't know where I am going. and I don't leave until I know where I’m going - strange what I have been taking for granted:

  • I cant do any of this -->
  • No spontaneous posts to Facebook.
  • No checking my bank account.
  • No apps
  • No instagram
  • No traffic updates
  • No drunk texts
  • No emails
  • No selfies 
  • No need for this
  • No last minute meetups
  • No late night texting
  • No more hitting myself in the face while texting in bed
  • No podcasts and music - I have my roommate’s pink iPod Nano for that (so 90’s fabulous!)

2 days in I was sad, poor me with no phone.

1 week in I was frustrated, FOMO at its worst.

2 weeks in I realized how awesome I felt. By awesome, I mean uncomfortable.


It is an expansive yet uncomfortable place of growth where I have no other option but to connect with my emotions and the real world all around me.

I had to trust more.

 

More trusting myself to know where I am going. And being comfortable with being lost.

I cant watch the little dot as I walk. Instead I have to read the numbers on buildings and know which way is North. Since moving to New York City, I have found myself on a sliding scale between lost and not-where-I-intended-to-end-up. Doing this without a phone adds an terrifying level of excitement, and a higher price tag when I decided it would be easier to jump in a cab.  

 

More trusting others to meet me where and when we agree upon.

When people find out that I dont have a phone, they ask, “How do you meet people out, What if they are running late, what if plans change, what if, what if.” My answer is, Don’t - Don’t run late. Communicate. Do what you say. Expect the same from others. Dont give yourself an out, and you wont need one. I’ve done it too, texting to switch the location, or say you will be 40 minutes late. Simply, be trustworthy on a basic level.

History of Divas on the telephone. 

History of Divas on the telephone. 

One night, my dinner date went to the bathroom. Under normal circumstances, I would have reached for my phone to keep me company.

Instead I sat there. Looked around. 

I felt the heat rise up... 

                                             - I’m nervous -

- I’m uncomfortable -

                                                                                     I’m alone - 

Should I order another drink? Should I keep eating? Are people looking at me?

 

                                                    Quiet.   

                                                                      Breathe. 

                                     Be uncomfortable.

                                                                                                                            Be alone.

Being alone while surrounded by people is never more apparent than when surrounded by hundreds of people with ear buds in while playing Crystal Candy Crushers (or some game - I don’t know what the kids are playing these days - I don’t have a phone, remember.)

It reminded me of a story from comedian Louis C.K on late Night with Conan O'Brien.

at :55 he tells you how to be a person, “Just be yourself without doing anything” and

at 3:33 he suggests that you bravely stand with sadness instead of avoiding it with a “phone hand job,” as he so poetically put it.

Take a moment for hilarity.

 

I remember my feeling before I lost my phone. I was feeling a little out of control. Don't get me wrong, emotionally stable people are allowed to cage dance, but it is much more fun when your goal is to drink until you're naked.

I wasn't just acting cray - I felt out of control. The newness of my move was settling down. I prayed for direction and comfort. I prayed for clarity and calmness. I expected a cosmic hug, but I needed a cosmic bitch-slap.


I am thankful for taking a negative experience and making it a personal experiment. Thank you angels!

 

Peace, Love, Sat Nam


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