I Went 15 Hours Without A Phone And Survived

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I Went 15 Hours Without A Phone And Survived

It was just a normal Sunday. I was preparing my son’s dinner, he was in the living room doing toddler stuff, and football was on TV. Life was good; life was peaceful.

It was then that I made a critical mistake by assuming that my child wasn’t up to no good. Children have an incredible sense for knowing exactly where not to be and what not to touch. If not for the slight danger of it, I think the military could use children to find out where the enemy is hiding weapons. My phone was up on the counter charging, and my son sniffed that bitch out like an enemy sniper. I heard the loud, echoing crash of phone to tile that makes everyone’s heart stop.

As I spun around, I already knew. My phone was no spring chicken; I’d put the poor bastard through the wringer. You can’t be legitimately mad at a toddler because they go about it with the notion of “Hmm I wonder what this does” as opposed to “Ah I’m gonna fuck dad’s world up right now.” Upon picking up the phone my fears were confirmed, as the screen had finally gone to black for good. The AT&T store was closed for the day and wouldn’t open until 10 a.m. the next morning. Your boy was staring at 15+ hours off the grid.

Before you say that’s not a long time, there are two you should know about me:

1. My phone is a necessity for my job. Upon getting my new one, I had two voicemails from clients and one voicemail from a prospective client.

2. I’m admittedly addicted to it. Some people can leave their phone at home when they go somewhere, or just ignore it for hours on end. Crash Davis isn’t one of those guys. I’ve got a terrible case of “fear of missing out” whether it’s compelling conversation in one of my group texts or some fire tweets (especially during Sunday Night Football + playoff baseball).

I’ve got that thing on me 24/7. How do I know my brother won’t call and say he won the lottery and that I can retire immediately? How do I know that I won’t need to listen to “What Do You Mean” at a moment’s notice? I don’t, so I’m always packing Apple heat. At least I was until Sunday.

The FOMO hits the hardest for the first hour. While the phone’s screen had called it a career, its innards were still functioning. With no way to turn it off or even turn it to silent, I was forced to hear each vibration and wonder what the hell was going on in the world. While my laptop could still connect me, your phone brings it to you, and those audible vibrations were taunting me like cleavage in a PG-13 movie. You can imagine what’s going on all you want, but you’ll never see what’s really happening there.

Each buzz made me cringe a bit. Pathetic? Oh, absolutely. I’m ashamed to admit it. But my mind wandered. Had one of my clients just had a catastrophe and am I staring at an extremely damaged reputation and furious boss come Monday? Had one of my friends just sent a really good dick joke to the group text? Was that missed call Bill Simmons calling to tell me he loves my work and wants me to come work for him? I mean, probably, yeah. The feeling of disconnect was strange.

As time passed, however, things turned toward the positive. Once my phone mercifully died, I began to appreciate the silence that had settled in. The awareness of how I used to be glued to my phone was startling. I got to read all my son’s bedtime books and focus on with no pause in the middle to glance down and see who texted. How much more time could I spend focusing on him if I didn’t check my buddy’s text reading “Did you see what the fucking Colts just did?”

Post-bedtime was an experience, too. How much of every sporting event have I missed because I was checking Twitter during it? I started to realize that relaxing wasn’t as relaxing when you’re grabbing your phone every 45 seconds to respond to the constant barrage of messages sent your way. I finally felt like I was legitimately getting some real “me” time; nothing but a man, his couch, his blanket, and Sunday Night Football. Oh, and a container of some quality trail mix. And some sparkling water. Point is, I was relaxed, disconnected, and at peace.

What’d I do in bed before I called it a night? I sure as hell didn’t scroll through my Twitter feed, as is tradition. This guy sat back and read a book, which is again much more enjoyable when your eyes don’t stray to your glowing electronic device that’s demanding your attention. I hadn’t heard from the outside world in hours with the exception of Michaels and Collinsworth, and I couldn’t have been happier about it. As much as I fully admit to enjoying having constant contact with the goings on of mankind, a bit of time away allowed me to reset myself in every way that I couldn’t reset my dead phone.

I woke up and didn’t even think to check my phone, pleased with the comfort I had already achieved in being part of the phoneless minority. I knew that after my son’s appointment I had to go pay more money to the estate of Steve Jobs for work’s sake, but I wasn’t dying for my phone.

I got in my car and started our journey to the pediatrician’s office. Since his last appointment, the office sent out a notice that they were moving locations. NBD, I had a general idea of where it was at, didn’t bother to check before we left because if I couldn’t find it I’d just pull up my phone and call them or Google it and, oh shit, I really need my phone back.

Image via Unsplash

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