On being phoneless
I've been living without a phone for over a month now — in a foreign country where I don't speak the language and don't know very many people.
That means no clock (I mostly don't know what time it is), no alarm clock (I have to wake up with the sun), no maps (I draw little maps before leaving my apartment), and no music (this is a big one). If people want to text me, they have to add me on Facebook and use Messenger. When I'm in line at the grocery store or on the subway or waiting for a friend, there is no screen to look at, no feed for me to scroll through. I have to coordinate a time and place to meet people and stick to it — and I have to trust that they will too. Amazingly, this actually works.
Thankfully, I still have a way to take pictures, which is something that's very important to me. The day I lost my iPhone, a very kind and generous woman gave me her old point-and-shoot. While this camera works fine, I don't always have it with me — in fact, I mostly don't have it with me. So unlike when I had my iPhone, I must plan ahead and that means I'm missing out on spontaneous photo opportunities. #firstworldproblems
Despite all this, I'm feeling pretty good about not having a phone. Yes, I'm going to get one the minute I return to North America, but I think I'll want it less than I would have a month ago.
Something that's become obvious to me is how very weird it is that we all carry around these devices and clutch on to them like they are some kind of life support system. I see now that it's actually a burden having to carry and keep track of a phone all the time and to constantly be thinking about it. One day we'll look back and be like, wtf?
I was addicted to my phone. I spent hours per day looking at it, and it would never be more than a foot away from me at all times. But now that crutch is gone (at least for the time being) and I can use the time for other things, like reading or writing or simply living with less distraction.
For me, this phoneless life is just another adventure.