Life Without a Smart Phone – The Ugly

anxiety
We’ve talked about the good and the bad about a life without a smartphone. Now, we’ll talk about the ugly side of having a smart phone.

This is the last entry of a three-part series I called: Life without a Smart Phone.

TL:DR: My iPhone broke over a month ago. There is some good, some bad and today we’ll talk about the ugly.

Out of the Cave

Like the person who walked out of the cave in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Or like Neo in the Matrix when he was first unplugged.

The first thing you face with is guess what? More time. The precious luxury we’re always looking more of. But time becomes a double-edge sword. Now you have more time to think. More time to observe the stillness. More time to face those demons that haunt you wherever you go.

Stillness

You are no longer distracted. Unless you are a super important person, you have time for yourself without a phone.

First, you encounter stillness right before bedtime.

cant sleep

There’s nothing to do. I’m laying down on my bed early like I have always wanted to, but can’t sleep. It’s so quiet!

Then, you find stillness disguised as boredom.

I’m bored! Let me check my Twi…

And realize you have no phone. What a torture, the horror!

What to do? How do I keep myself “busy”?

Stillness speaks louder than you ever could imagine. You can try to escape it but how can you escape something that is always there?

Anxiety

All this stillness leads to anxiety. You look ways to distract yourself. When you have a smart phone, this is very easy.

Time to check out what my “friends” Facebook to compare myself to.

Or about?

Let me check Twitter to see if I’m a dinosaur yet. Oh crap, a new framework? Welp, time to suit up and learning it.

Anything is better than facing stillness and the anxiety that follows it.

Why do alcoholics drink? To escape reality. It makes them feel better. It helps them forget their problems.

You and I are no different. Once you remove the noise, the busyness from your life, you are left with stillness and yourself.

An addiction is an addiction no matter how you justify it.

It’s a tough battle. The withdrawal symptoms suck. You are in a bad mood most of the time. You don’t even know why or what’s wrong. All you know is that you’re holding yourself back from punching someone in the face. And that’s the tip of the iceberg.

Acceptance

But…if you hold long enough. If you push thru that anxiety. If you embrace stillness, you’ll reach levels of self-reflection you never thought possible. This will lead to acceptance.

You will start to understand that there is only the now. The past and the future only exist only in your mind.

You will start to see and understand that your are not your thoughts. That you are not your mind. That you are your worst enemy.

All is not bad news. You will learn to appreciate life for what it is. Your significant other, your kids, and even like the job you hate. In other words, if you allow it, your third eye will start opening up.

This can only happen if you allow it. If embrace and accept stillness.

How the hell can I do that? What’s wrong with me?

There’s nothing wrong with you.

Prepare to “feel” alone

Like the person who walked out of the cave who tried to help others, you might face some backlash. Hell, you might be one of those people reading this right now.

Dude, get a phone and get on with your life!

But I don’t know. I enjoy not checking my phone for whatever reason. I enjoy being present and in the moment, the now.

I feel liberated after unplugging from the matrix!

This is not to say I won’t get or need a phone. Far from it.

Are you scared of falling again?

Of course, I am. It has taken me a lot of work to get out. But I will leave those thoughts of another blog post.

What’s next

I will get me a new smart phone. I’ll do my best to use it for good and not fall on its trap.

It has been a very interesting experiment. I’ve learned a lot about myself, stillness and acceptance.

I hope you have learned a thing or two with this short series. Why not try it yourself? Leave your phone in another room or in your car for a day or a full weekend. See how it works out for you.

Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.