You just broke/lost your phone. It’s unusable/unfindable and you’ll have to get a new one. You are now phoneless. What is it that you’re thinking immediately after this event? How is it that you are feeling?
Allow me to take a guess in that you are feeling upset. You are thinking about the amount of money that phone cost, the amount it will take to replace it with a new one and how long it will take before you have another. You’ll complain to your friends on social media and in person about how you’re phoneless and how it’s difficult to talk to anyone right now.
Does the description of my guess of your thoughts and feelings read positive or negative?
For the average person, breaking their phone is a very negative experience that we feel entitled to complain about to others for validation.
Now, what if I told you that breaking your phone can be an incredibly positive experience. But only if you let it.
Firstly, I must start by imparting the thought that there is no universal negative and positive, the two are only judgements that we label onto things to categorize aspects of our lives. However, in terms of net positive gain to the body, there are some things that are universally true. A salad will always provide more nutrients than a candy bar. It is the same idea with the following in its positive benefits to the average human body and mind: You’ll spend more time not looking at a digitized screen and more looking at the world around you. You have to go directly to someone’s location to have an actual face to face conversation which will almost always allow you to connect on a deeper level than a call or text can. In particular, social media encourages brief, unfocused, multitasking-friendly ‘check-ins’ rather than long periods of focus. Hell, maybe you can just be excited about getting a new color or type of phone! Regardless of focus, short-term ‘Unplugging’ can be incredibly healthy, in a myriad of ways, for our shallow internet/social media based minds.
Yet, the average person will dwell on the price that it originally cost and what it will cost to replace and how in the world will anyone get in touch with them. In addressing the first part, it is entirely logical for one to break or lose something and think about what it will cost to get it replaced. However, this thought should be considered a rapidly treatable ailment by the following questions. Can I afford it? Do I need it right now? Can I purchase it right now? If I don’t need it right now, when? If you still find yourself worrying about this purchase after answering all these questions the problems are more deeply rooted in your financial situation – not the phone.
Secondly, people communicated without smartphones for all of human history up until about the past twenty years. We got to where we are today as a race because of a lot of that communication. Most of the framework for laws that you obey daily were set down by people without the access to search engines or text messages. So I think you’ll be ok without responding to that controversial twitter post. Yet the average person wouldn’t have these thoughts twitter across their mind at all. Instead of focusing on how much they have to gain from this change, the person focuses on loss.
So, instead of focusing on this loss and complaining that you are ‘phoneless’… don’t tell anyone who doesn’t need to know. Think of the cliche ‘less is more’. By being phone-less you now have more time to spend on or with whatever you’d like. You get access to all of the pre-described rewards that can come from unplugging. Focus on how positive this experience could be and how much more time you can have for other things you’ve been ‘meaning’ to get around to. Do them now. You won’t regret it. Get a picture of it when you finish and you have your new phone – don’t put off doing what you want until that new phone gets here just so that you can snapshot progress.