The first few days were most interesting. Day one, I had FOMO: FEAR OF MISSING OUT. In the sense that I kept reaching for my phone to check who might of been trying to contact me–over and over. As if there was some event that I had to attend to, or as if my sister was about to give birth. Up to that point, I never realized how many times a day I would reach for my phone and check it.
The next day I had my second phased; it went from FOMO to GUILT.
I felt like I was betraying my friends and fellow-man.
“How I dare I not have a high-tech gadget on me for everyone and anyone to contact!”
I just forgot about it….
The following days were hilarious. The amount of joy I had was excruciating. Every habit that involved phones seemed so ridiculous to me!
One of my very best friends that I actually consider more of a younger sister finally came to visit. As I was getting ready for work, I see on my Facebook that she writes, “Hope you get this message and find a way to call me, because I’m leaving on the train now!” Kelsy lives in Los Angeles while I lives in San Diego. I knew she was planning on visiting at some point this summer, but I didn’t think it was going to happen that day; basically right now!
So, as I’m heading into work 15 miles away from my town where my apartment is I was in this state of shock and wonder of where we might meet, or how she was going to pull this off. In the deepest of understandings, I knew it was all going to be okay and I was excited to see it unfold.
Well, 5 hours pass and the sun is setting and I’m working on the top level of a huge building overlooking all of San Diego’s most majestic view and there she is; being escorted to the patio with a cute lil back pack, bag, and skateboard. She stood out like a soar thumb in that fancy place 🙂 Well, for the next hour-hour and a half she sat in the back corner and I fed her wine glass after wine glass as she patiently waited for me. No complaint. We both had this unspoken excitement and thrill of what we just pulled off. Not having a cell phone made the moment of her visiting that much more special.
As time went on, I felt a gentle weight lift off my shoulders. This release of expectations and of duties that I had created for myself. A liberation of any expectations or duties someone might have granted me without my knowledge. It became this universal understanding that I am what I’m doing when Im doing it, and I am where I am when I am and no place else.
I know we all notice how much time people can spend on their phones. Whether it be for sport, social reasons, as a tool, a hobby, a catalog, an address book, an email, a search engine, a calculator, a recorder, a phone, a text machine,a way to express, or just a distraction we all know our phones have become a dependency for our lives. Well, I was walking down the street and I stopped at a light. It was a beautiful summer day around 1pm and everything was so blue and crisp, and there was a slight breeze from the ocean. I handpicked some flowers I liked at my corner flowergirl hut which was directly next to the light I was at. I felt a quiet presence come behind me and they weren’t moving or anything, so in a curious way I looked behind me with a smile on my face. It was a young lady looking down at her phone.
I waited a second then decided to say to her, “Hi! Beautiful day isnt it?”
She looked up, and you know what?! I don’t know if she was stunned or her face was just glued expressionless from looking into that screen but either way, it took her a small moment to react to what was in front of her, but when she finally did she smiled and kind of shook off whatever she was “in” (phone zone) and said,
“Yes. It really is huh?.. Cool flowers. Where did you get those from?”
I said, “Right there! This is a cool place to get a bouquet cause you can pick your own combo.”
The light turned and as I began to walk across the street I took a glance back and there was the girl filling her hands with flowers and sparkles of joy started shining all over her. You can see the transformation of zombie on a phone to a woman beaming with joy because of this beautiful mini-creation she was making.
The world needs people to help them look at the brightness of life.
My friend was over and we were on my balcony. She had her phone on her and as it went off from time to time she looked at it and do her thang. So, I would wait and hold the conversation where she left off so that when she was finished I’d let her know where to continue from. It happened a few times and we both notice it and we began the conversation of how weird it is that we prioritize our phones.
I’m not anti phone. I think the phone is a great invention and I support telephones but I’m becoming more and more anti instant gratification and I think we abuse the crap out of our phones.
Anyway, after that discovery she put it away and we started to make art together, listened to music, and figured out more and more things that we could do together and it made us that much closer.
Another thing that I thought was hilarious was when I was at Rissa’s house to embark on a day of sun, people, and fun; when we came into a slight obstacle.
I was planning to drop my friends bike off at her house, Rissa was going to meet me there, then drive the two of us to Mission Beach to start our day.
Well she asked me for the address of the drop off spot, but the thing was I didn’t have it.
Then, she asked me to text her and I said, “I don’t have her number.”
Then she said to text someone for her number and I said I don’t have a phone, haha.
So we were left to me giving her good ol’ fashion paper writing directions.
Why were the go-tos texting and google maps?
Why is map quest better than a person giving us directions? Laziness? Convenience? I don’t know.
How much of our lives and the decisions that fill them based on convenience?
Anyway, I described where to meet me to Rissa, told her how to get there, told her where I’ll be waiting, and that I’ll see her in a bit. I waited for her for a lil while. I rode the bike in little circles around the parking lot, then started making a little game out of it. I had a playlist inspired song on and started dancing a little on the bike. I totally forgot that there were a ton of cars at that intersection and I’m pretty sure people must have been thinking
“What is that woman doing?” haha.
If I had a phone I would’ve looked on it and played with it and would’ve done things that required almost nothing out of me. In this moment, I got to enjoy myself and create my own real life lil game on that bike having a chid like moment 🙂
That day was jampacked with revelation!
~Another Wave Of Understanding ~
I used to use my phone for the NOTES feature quite often. I remember going to all those music festivals last year and everyone on the bus used to make fun of me for “needing my phone” and I’d say “Listen man. Its my notebook too, relax, I’m a writer and this incredibly inspiring things are happening around me and I can hear in my head is music and lyrics.” Well, the issue with that was that was when you do type you don’t remember the feeling as much as you do than when you write it down. Recently, Ive been keeping this little brown book with me. My brown baby. And I record quotes, I record peoples information, I write lyrics, one of my best friends wrote a goodbye note to me in it, but my favorite thing for this situation is that I’m physically writing. Its more of an expression which makes it more practiced and more comprehended. So that when I look back at that lyric or poem I can again really divulge back into the feeling I had before because of my handwriting and maybe even doodles around the page help me feel again what I was feeling. Typing on a screen is cool and typing on a computer is even better ..clickclicklicklicklickclick but it’s FACT that there is nothing like wrriitttinngggg.
Its pretty crazy when you’re around 20 people sharing a moment together and every other person is looking down on their phones. Completely dependent and connected with THINGS THAT ARENT ACTUALLY THERE; in front of them, around them…
We are a separated generation dying for connection.
Life is moments and capturing them is great. I love when people don’t notice that I’m about to take a picture of them. THOSE ARE MY FAVORITES! People off their phones, sitting across from you, laughin, having a good time, being themselves, shootin the shiznack..and then BAM! Photo! Thats photography! Just make sure when you capture moments your honoring them as well. Please don’t abuse the photography and video capabilities of your phones. Please. lol.
Holy moly, not having a phone really helps you trust people and definitely has people trust you more. If you tell me to meet you I’m going to show up and I hope you are too. In the meantime, if I’m waiting for someone I’ll just make new friends around me. Its fantastic.
BEING APART OF MOMENTS
So many times when I had a phone, I would constantly be finding something better to do
I’m so ashamed of that thought process but we all do it. One way or another. We all know that feeling and reasoning. Without a phone I AM WHERE I AM and thats WHERE I AM. Its awesome. I can’t find something better to do with my phone I instead have to create something awesome to do with me and whatever resources I have around me. No one in the back of my ear telling me to do something or expecting me to be somewhere,; no reminders just Me. That moment. Those people. The atmosphere I am surrounded in. This isn’t my first time nor my second not having a phone, but its the only time its been a conscious decision and I am not regretting it at all.
SKYPE!!!! WHY CALL WHEN YOU CAN JUST SKYPE?!!! ITS THE BEST.
Yesterday, Shannon Joe and I were driving around looking for our body Nicks house. We had the address but Joe kept going back and forth and making Austin Powers type turn arounds 🙂 He kept staying in his car and looking at his phone and everything just seemed so scrambled and I was so confused. He was looking at his phone and trying to text the guy and he’s looking from his car for the address on a very simple street and I say,
“Hey Joe! Why don’t you just get out and knock on the door?”
When’s the last time YOU KNOCKED ON SOMEONES DOOR?
Last night, my friend Billy from work had his dinner on the patio and I was his server. Before leaving we decided, since I was getting off at that moment, that we would meet for a drink at Starlite with his brother and sister and a few friends from work. Billy had to say a four month old bye to his parents because he wasn’t going to see them til’ after he studies abroad in Prague for a semester, so in the meantime I headed to Starlite.
Well, I get there and right away I recognized the bartender from the other night. Usually, I would go straight to the back patio, but I’ve learned again to act upon my mind and things I recognize so I smiled and he smiled and I said, ” The Casbah ended being a great time as always.” We go back and forth and I turn to my right and theres a very pleasant looking older gentleman there, with a nice outfit, so in my mind I connected some dots and figured,
“I’ll just sit here while I wait.”
Turns out that he’s a writer who gave me loads of inspiration and encouragment.
None of that would of happened if I was fooling around on my phone or finding someone to talk to in phoneland or blah blah blah blah
The negatives of not having a phone. I got stood up. 😦