We live in a funny world, don’t we? There was a time when homes had a single phone. And when it rang, the kids in the house had to hope that mom or dad would let them talk for a while. If the phone rang too late, it meant one of two things: something was wrong, or one of the kids had a friend calling at an inappropriate time.
Soon, things changed, and homes had more telephones, providing a bit more leeway in the way communication was handled. It wasn’t until the introduction of the mobile phone that dramatically changed how we would communicate with others, and it caused a radical change in our lives.
Now, though, everywhere I turn, I find people with smartphones. From elders who grew up in a time when phone lines were shared to priests, just about everyone around us has a smartphone on their hip, in their pocket, or hiding in their purse. A smartphone isn’t just an accessory to many people, it’s an extension of their lives. And without it, there would be no way to live.
For me, such a scenario would be impossible to even fathom. Each morning, the first thing I do after saying good morning to my wife is check my smartphone to see if I’ve missed any important e-mails. I might also check the news to see what’s happening around the world. During the day, my smartphone is with me wherever I go, so I can send off a quick text, check e-mail when away from a computer, and surf the Web when I need to. Oh, and I might also place a call from time to time.
So, earlier this week as I was on my smartphone, I questioned whether I could stay away from it for just one week. What would my week be like, I thought. How would my life be different? Would things be better or worse?
I decided after thinking that that it was time I explored the possibility of living without my smartphone for a week. So, for the rest of the day and a bit into the next day, I was smartphone-free. It wasn’t long, though, that I was desiring holding my smartphone in my hand and checking things. It also wasn’t long before I had what might only be called “technology withdrawals” — a seemingly chemical response in the brain to not having something I rely on to such a huge degree.
So, before long, I gave in and got my smartphone. I’m weak, perhaps, or just not very good at controlling myself. In either case, I realized that, for me, living without a smartphone isn’t even an option.
The next question, though, is, such an addiction good or bad? I can be more productive with my smartphone, but that I actually have it in-hand at all times and can’t let it go might liken it to something much worse.
So, I pose the question to you: can you (or, perhaps, would you) want to live without a smartphone for a week? Is it easier said than done? Don’t scoff so quickly and think it’ll be an easy task; it won’t. Be ready for a challenge. And be ready for the withdrawals.