Leaving the #iPhone Behind

Category: Weekly Columns

A while ago, I wrote Seven Days Without My iPhone. Now, I’ve gone another 5 days, with one more to go, without it again. It is liberating. Much has been written lately about taking Social Media sabbaticals or breaks. Not only is it a good idea, I would assert it would improve your relationships – especially in your “home” family – and also improve, yes, your health.

Health? Hmm, is he reaching a bit with that one? NO, because stress is one of the biggest factors related to our health and being constantly plugged in is stressful or, at the very least intense, depending on your level of connection. Stress, like change, actually affects us whether it’s good or bad (stress or change).

So, being connected and reaching for that phone, checking your email, texting, surfing the web, etc. is stressful. Our bodies AND our souls need a break from it all.

That is why many religions have a Sabbath. In Judaism, it’s a proscribed 24 hours of shutting down. Created long before the advent of technology, it was recognized as an important needed break from the rigors of life. In those times, it was simply a break and rest from labor. It was an opportunity to recuperate, to re-connect with family, and to respect and honor God.

Not a bad idea.

Some old things are as relevant as the latest software update or newest iPhone. This is definitely one of them.

The reason for this particular “sabbatical” is simply my being cheap. I’m visiting my in-laws in Canada and my phone plan charges exorbitant rates when we’re abroad. I could change it for a few days and lessen the charges, but I chose to just unplug the iPhone since I still have wi-fi and otherwise have regular access to all I need…just not EVERY minute of EVERY day.

When I see myself checking my phone while out with friends, I reflect on this bad habit. I am trying to stop that. It’s not polite; it’s not necessary. We all did just fine back in the days when there was no email, no cell-phones, and no answering machines. Maybe, we even did better? Maybe, the quality of our lives was better?