What Ditching My Phone Did for Me


Soccer Ball & Piano - sig


In light of my recent technology fail, I’ve taken a major break from many of my devices.

While I was out this weekend, something was missing.

What was missing?

Glad you asked. My phone. It was zipped up inside my handbag.

Sure, I got the thing out to take a few photos but then it went right back inside the deep, dark, depths of my cluttered bag.

I didn’t have my phone in my hand the way I usually do. Like an extension of my arm. (Creepy…)

And my days were better for it.

I was appreciating my kid’s drawing at the school art show, watching him run after a ball with some sort of net on a field, listening to my other one play music at his piano recital.

Throughout these events, I’d normally be snapping photos, texting those to family and friends, getting caught up in a text convo about how it was going, and, inevitably, becoming distracted by a reminder about a dentist appointment on Monday.

You can guess what I wouldn’t be doing.

But, it so happens, without the blasted phone, I was actually paying attention to my life.


My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.


Are you able to “be” where you are? Are you seeing it through your camera lens or looking down, missing something, because you’re texting or checking your calendar?



45 thoughts on “What Ditching My Phone Did for Me

    • Yeah, being connected is kind of nice. I’ve realized that even more since I’ve been missing emails. I do spend time away from my phone, and I often keep it on silent, but it does grab me once I grab it. Petty thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautiful Sarah. “Paying attention to my life” – a great place to be. I take far too many photographs. I did that before phones but it is much easier with the phone. I don’t text them and hardly use the phone to the point that sometimes I simply forget to take it with me. I only realise when I come across something I wish to photograph. Perhaps I should leave it at home more often and pay attention to my own life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So do I. Everything and anything…photographed. I’ve always been that way. And it really is similar. You are “there” but you’re admiring the butterfly or waterfall or whatever through a lens. It’s a bit different. The texting is the tough part. I like to send photos to friends (Hey! Look at me in the hospital!) and family (Hey! He got a goal!) but that inevitably leads to a text conversation. I should use a…um…camera. This goes back to my dependency on my phone. I DID use a camera for forty years before this bloody thing! Maybe you could mix it up a bit. Watch, take a photo, watch, take a photo… My problem is I keep taking them. I need to pay attention to my life more often. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can see the texting is a problem and a camera would be a solution. It would be a pity to not have photos for later just because of the inconvenience of the phone. My husband hates photos with a passion and for a very short time I didn’t take photos. I miss that period intensely. I have the memories but not the photographs and where memories can fade the photographs can remind or amplify.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Notice I didn’t stop taking them, I just put the phone away after a few snapshots. I like having photos, too. Memories are wonderful but photos… They help me remember some things I might otherwise have forgotten. ❤️


  2. Good for you, Sarah. It’s lovely to live in the present moment. Though I must admit, some of my memories are only memories because they have been captured in photographs. It probably wouldn’t matter too much if I never remembered them though. It’s much better to enjoy the now than have a photograph that is devoid of any feeling or meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As far as being in the moment, well that’s another animal. (Actually, it’s another post.) I have trouble with that. But, yes, I was more “there” than if I’d been staring at them through a screen, snapping photos. The problem is that it’s too easy to text them to someone.

      I agree about capturing memories. I can’t fault anyone for taking pictures. I’m a HUGE fan of documenting pretty much everything. (And I do love looking back on those memories.) But maybe I’ll stick with a camera instead of my phone. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • But the phone is so convenient! You don’t need to carry another gadget, that needs to be unpacked, opened and readied. The phone is, dare I say, handy? And it does make photos so easy to share. Maybe you just need to wait until the event is over to share the photos. And take a couple – you don’t need lots. Back in the old days, even before instamatic, we had to wait until we finished the roll of film, send it away, and wait to get it back. Sometimes that could be months after the event, and all the photos were duds! Or we’d forgotten what was in them. 🙂 The phone cameras are such high quality and instant, but we do need to remain mindful of their use. You’ll do fine! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is convenient. And so tempting. I remember when we had to “wait until we finished the roll of film, send it away, and wait to get it back.” And then half were horrible! 😀 No, I prefer the digital but will try to be more careful.


  3. Phones are wonderful, except for the way they distract you. I make a concious effort to keep mine away except for when I need it. Or bored stood waiting for something. So good for you. We miss so much of the world by looking at it through a screen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. They’re wonderful except when they’re not. And, with all the apps and calendars and reminders, there are lots of ways to be distracted. I do keep mine away but also read a lot of articles and blogs on my phone while waiting. (And I do my fair share of waiting, unfortunately.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Recently we travelled to visit some relatives and, during the 3rd hour of our drive, I realized I had forgotten my phone at home. At first I was quite anxious about not returning emails or texts immediately, but when I realized there was nothing I could do, I began to relax. Then I got a little giddy because I felt like I was playing hooky.

    I admire you for choosing to reduce your smartphone usage. 🙂 I myself might start “forgetting” my phone at home more often…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yikes! I would have felt anxious, too. (Like I said, it’s pathetic but true.) And I’d like to think that, once I realized I couldn’t do anything, I’d feel fantastic. Some sort of technology-induced chain being lifted – I’m free! (Hee…playing hooky. Yeah, I can see that.)

      Before you admire me too much, do remember this is stemming from a technology fail that left me reeling. Okay, knocked me flat on my arse. I like the idea of “forgetting” my phone by complete pre-planned accident.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I know how you feel, as I’ve mentally acknowledged that very thing while it’s happening (gosh, I’m looking through a lens instead of using my eyes — it’s like tunnel vision). But I like to zoom to get a closer view, which I can’t do with my eyes, though it’s not as good of a picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. It’s a conundrum. I did snap a few pictures but wasn’t tempted to take them the entire time or send them to anyone because my phone was put away. (The zooming is a nice feature. Maybe one of your characters could do that…) 😉


  6. I try not to live life looking through my phone, but I do find myself taking it out for photos and checking emails while out – maybe I need to ‘ditch it’ for a while as well.
    I must say I can’t stand going to live shows and having to watch them through all the phones held up in front of me. Just a personal bugbear, I guess. 🙂
    I love your statement ‘paying attention to your life.’ That is so true, and so important.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know exactly what you mean about going somewhere and seeing an ocean of phones held up in front of you. That is so bloody annoying. It’s bad enough when you’re doing it but when 100 people in front of you are trying to hold their phone (or, worse, iPad!) up over the person in front of them… It gets ridiculous. I’m working on the “paying attention to my life” thing. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Funnily enough I wrote a post a month ago about putting the camera down when my kids were younger and just getting involved. Now I don’t have lots of photos, but I do have lots of memories. I hardly use the phone for photos (probably because of that), but I do find it a distraction when it starts pinging with emails, texts, tweets, etc. Maybe I’ll start to put it away for a few hours every day…

    Liked by 1 person

    • And there it is. Being involved, enjoying time with your kids, having memories…and no photos. Or having an album full of photos but not being involved. I don’t know. I have a bad memory so I love being able to look back on photos. My problem is, even though I have a nice camera, I use my phone for taking pictures all the time. This weekend, I did take pictures (and video) but then tucked it away. Hope I can continue that. Hope you can, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It really does make a difference doesn’t it when we put our phones away. Although, like you, I do like to take a lot of photos, and always have done, so nothing to do with the phone itself, but it’s the distractions that come with it that’s our downfall…as you describe here. I see so many people walking around with their faces glued to their phones, not paying attention to what is going on around them. The saddest of all is young mums out at the park with their kids, and the only thing they’re looking at is the face of their phones. We have a rule in our house, that if someone is taking out their phone when we’re supposed to be watching something together or eating dinner, or anything together, we say they’re ‘phubbing’ (phone snubbing). Well, actually, we point and make strange sounds like the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, lol! There, now you know how weird we really are. But it works! And yes, I get told off more than anyone…so I stand corrected. I keep my phone on silent all the time so that I check it on my terms and not jump to it and I hide it away too rather than leaving it out ready to see. It helps. Learning how to make social media work for us and not the other way around…therein lies the challenge. But dear Sarah, I’m so glad you enjoyed your day out with your boys…I sigh as I remember those happy, joyful days…they are not to be missed. Precious to live to the full, in the moment. These years go by way too fast…they really do. And I do admit that I’m glad not to have a mobile phone back then. I didn’t have one until my early 40s either. A Nokia with a Union Jack faceplate…ha! It didn’t take photos, it wasn’t a smart phone and I didn’t use texting. Ahh…them were the days 😉 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I really do take a lot of photos but it’s only been recently that I started using my phone. It’s so convenient. Ugh… I have to start bringing my clunky camera because there’s nothing to do but take a picture (or ten) then put it away. Ha! I love the thought of you all making noises at each other. 😀 That’s awesome. “Phubbing.” I’m stealing that. I do hate seeing how many people now walk around with their faces glued to their phone screens. We see it all the time with families going out to eat “together”. Really? Because they all have a cell phone in their faces – mum and dad are texting and kids are playing with apps. They reach around their phones to take a bite of food – don’t look at their plates or each other. Why bother going out?

      Well, this: ” Learning how to make social media work for us and not the other way around…” I’m still working on. 😉 ❤


  9. So true… I guess I might be looking at the screen (usually Ipad!)… Plus, I recently created an Instagram account… and as a resulting fact, most times I feel like a Tourist (or should I say a foreigner in my own land!?… ) Sending best wishes. Aquileana 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m sorry to hear about your email (eep!) but yes, getting a break is SO good. I did it back in January (I’m sure you remember) and it was just really good to have that space from the online world. I so appreciate friendships I’ve made (like with you!) but at the same time… I spend an awful lot of time wasting my time and energy. Ugh. I hope things ease up for you. It took a few days for me. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      • Not nearly as much as I’d like. (Ok, not at all, really.) I am spinning my wheels without a real plan regarding social media for my writing/art, and I end up wasting valuable time. It’s a Q3 goal, to get that under control and working for me, instead of the other way around.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Plan. Control. Balance. I think these words set us up for failure when it comes to online time. I see too many people struggling with this. And I haven’t figured out anything for myself. I wish I could share some wisdom. 💗

        Liked by 1 person

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