First and foremost, I blame the kids.
Secondly, I blame the phone.
And alright, I should probably hold myself responsible at some point in the mix.
Regardless, I went three consecutive days without a phone.
Now I had been having issues with this certain cellular device for quite some time. A certain three-year-old in my life had dropped it on the street while getting out of the car. My heart cracked faster than the screen.
I did my best to manage with my phone’s broken exterior, but it eventually caught up with me. My antenna had finally given out as pieces of glass continued to disintegrate. I no longer had service on this small device that I desperately depended on.
And that’s the thing, you really don’t realize how dependent you are until it doesn’t work.
This is my camera that records every “goo” from my baby and every smile from my toddler. This is my way of calling my husband on my way home from work. This is how I text my family. This is how I email my clients and co-workers. This is how I calculate payments, shop online, check my social media and connect with the world around me.
This is my lifeline.
Friday was day one of no phone. It gave out right as the work day ended and I didn’t have time to stop. I told myself to just get through the weekend and take care of it on Monday. I mean, it’s one weekend.
On the drive home I panicked the entire way. I kept thinking terrible thoughts- what if my car breaks down? What if I get into an accident? What if someone needs to get a hold of me? What will I do?!
All night I kept picking up my phone, praying it would magically work. It never did.
Then something happened throughout the weekend and I found myself slowly coming to terms with my lack of digital communication.
Instead, I went on walks with my kids. We sat at the dinner table and talked without any distractions. We had a dance party and instead of videoing it, I was participating. My children got to see my face without a phone in front of it. They got to hold my hand instead of watching my texting fingers.
I knew I was missing calls, texts and emails but I was gaining so much more. For how much anxiety I felt, it was also weirdly satisfying.
I eventually did get a new phone but my experience from the accidental digital detox has remained.
When I get home, the phone goes down. When I wake up, I look at the sky. I aim to make memories without the sole intention of capturing them.
After all, our little lifelines are important, but not as important as our life.