3 things having no cell phone has taught me

cell Phone off

I have been a mac evangelist since 1997 the way Steve Jobs thinks blows me away. Here’s the thing. I use my iPhone for everything it has to be the single greatest innovative thing Apple has ever done. I am rarely without my iPhone. I left for Australia a couple of weeks ago and if you know anything about international roaming fee you know that it forces you to look for wifi hotspots with the same frivolity I search for the coffee first thing in the morning. I arrived back home in the states my phone starts doing weird stuff, dropping calls, showing no services then out of nowhere it heats to ear scalding temperatures and starts dropping it’s charge even when plugged in. Once the phone had fully discharged it’s battery it was not turning on and was not responding to being plugged into a computer or to the wall. So I am without a phone for the next few days.

It’s actually been a good thing.

Here are the 3 things I have learned by not having a cell phone.

1. Learning is important but so is thinking.  – I am a learner I love learning. I love reading and listening to podcasts and audio books. Every free moment that I am not talking on the phone I am trying to leverage that time to learn. I don’t want to waste time doing nothing so I end up filling every dead space with reading, listening or doing some sort activity to help me grow. Learning is massively important in leading but so is thinking. One thing I don’t do enough of is allow my thoughts to drift and think about something and at times think about nothing. What did we do when we waited in the doctor’s office before Angry birds was invented? We thought about stuff. Thinking is a lost art. Turn off your phone and recover it.

2. Being physically present is important but being actually present is even better. – This one is horribly convicting. Social media and connected devices have actually caused us to disconnect in mass. We go to our kids baseball game check into foursquare and tweet the action. Your kids just want you to eat a hot dog and yell encouraging things when they are up to bat. We have bought the lie that being physically present is being actually present. Turn off your phone and play with your kids while they still want you to and you still can.

3. The less I check social media the less I care about social media. – I love social media. I am happy to say people made fun of me for leaving myspace for facebook. I jump ship on social media as fast as I join it. I seem to have settled in with a pretty long relationship with twitter and instagram. I find myself compelled to read the tweets or look at the instagrams I feel I have missed the more I check the more I feel I need to check. I have been away for a while and I went through withdraws but now have missed so much that I don’t feel and overwhelming sense that I need to check. Turn off your phone and talk to people rather than live vicariously through people.

Just so you don’t think I write these things because I feel virtually superior to you in every way. I don’t.  I know about these things because I am guilt of all of them. Turn off you phone hug your kids, kiss your wife, thank me later.

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