GOING LIGHT part 1… digitally disconnecting

We like stuff…

Make stuff.

Buy stuff.

Make faster, shinier, more impressive stuff.

Buy new stuff.

STUFF. STUFF. STUFF.

Replace the word stuff with items of your choosing… Make car. Buy car. Make faster, shinier, more impressive car. Buy new car. What other stuff do we do this with? Phone? Computer? Shoes? Underwear? Pretty much everything?

Some stuff we buy and use. Some stuff we buy and don’t use. Some stuff breaks fast. Some stuff lasts forever(ish).

I’m newly bothered by the stuff, even though there is a lot of stuff that I like… guitar stuff, skateboard stuff, biking stuff, art stuff, power tool stuff, stuffy stuffy stuff stuff. Had enough of the word ‘stuff’ yet? I usually end up buying more stuff than I actually need (as my wife likes to say, “How many guitars can you play at once?”) One bit of stuff in particular bothers me lately… my ‘smart’ phone. It’s one bit of stuff that can do loads and loads of stuff. It makes me smarter via its instant access to the internet. Its G.P.S. prevents me from getting lost. It keeps me up to date on the glorious lives of my friends and family thanks to instant social media access. It is a camera that is always with me, a book of addresses and phone numbers, a calendar, a mobile TV, a whole stack of newspapers, and my entire music library. But I don’t like it. I’ve started to ask myself – why do I need all this stuff on my phone? Why do I need it with me all the time?

It’s convenient, yes! But, what bothers me is that my mobile smart device has become a digital distraction. I find myself distracted from the people around me… checking social media accounts, reading emails, watching funny videos, playing a game, or watching a show. Have you ever had that realization that you are out for dinner with family/friends and you are all busy on your devices instead of enjoying each other’s company? I have. I don’t want to be distracted anymore. I want to be present.

So begins my plan – Get rid of the smart phone. Get a simple/dumb phone. See what sort of an impact this has on my life.

I have chosen to go with the Light Phone 2. It is a sleek , modern-looking phone that only does phone calls and messages. Well, it also allows you to set an alarm, use a calculator, and in the future it might allow you to play some music too. But, no apps. No YouTube. No social media. No camera. No games. No email. No INTERNET!!

I’m not giving up social media, YouTube, and all that other stuff. I’ll just do it at a computer, at a time of my choosing. I’m admitting to a lack of will power when it comes to looking at my phone, but fear not, there will still be pictures of my dogs on Instagram!

I’m not saying that everyone should do this. I might even end up hating it myself! There will be advantages and disadvantages to this choice. I’m just going to give it a try and see what happens. And for those who are interested, I’ll blog about the experience here.

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