Yes, you read that right. I got rid of my iPhone and the world didn’t end. The iCloud didn’t stormily open up and rain down heavy drops full of my data. My photos are still safe and sound in my iCloud account. No one from Apple reached out to make sure everything was OK and beg for my return. There were, admittedly, a few tears shed, but the world – my world – stayed relatively stable.
You’re probably wondering why. You may even be reading this on your iPhone. Maybe you even just clutched your iPhone a little tighter, whispering “I’ll never leave you.” And maybe, you won’t. Like you, my iPhone did everything for me. Kept my calendar organized, gave me directions, housed my family’s music and photos, even served as a make-shift Kindle if I found myself with time to fill and was relatively alone, like in a waiting room. It automatically organized my screenshots, provided endless entertainment for my boys who loved nothing more than to ask Siri about farts, and, of course, was used for my social media browsing habits.
The story of how I came to get rid of my iPhone is not very interesting and I’ll spare you the details, but basically, a new au pair was set to join our family so a new phone was purchased for her. Unfortunately, her placement with us just didn’t work out. We were now on the hook for a phone, so I just made the switch. And it wasn’t easy.
At first, I was embarrassed. What would people think?! I’d look around a room full of people and it felt like everyone had an iPhone except for me. I’d feel the need to explain why my phone, although the same shape, color, and size of an iPhone, was an imposter. It seemed like every time I turned around, there were new upgrades that my phone didn’t offer, something I was missing out on.
After a couple of weeks, I came to see that what was really causing these feelings was not the actual phone itself. What really pushed me to take a step back was my constant need to feel connected and for others to feel connected to me. As time went on, each ding and chime of a phone made me want to untether myself from ANY device, not just an iPhone. I didn’t want to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Was I really going to allow an electronic device to make me feel guilt for not responding to a text or email within seconds and shame for not having something that has come to serve as a status symbol? The short answer is no. I’ve dealt with my fair share of FOMO. It was time to move on. I realized then that it had been the right thing to do by putting some distance between me and the iFruit.
Now, full disclosure — I still have a smartphone and can still access, download, and use all of the Apps I could on my iPhone. I can still do all of the things I could with my iPhone, but I just don’t want to. I have time usage alerts set, I don’t respond to emails on my phone unless absolutely necessary, and have made a point to leave it in another room when spending time with my kids. I read actual books and write everything down in my planner and small notebooks that I take everywhere with me instead of doing all of those things on my phone.
Do I miss my iPhone? Maybe. Do I miss those dependency feelings? No.
Right now, my iPhone is still in my nightstand drawer, fully drained of battery, waiting to be charged and turned on. Once in a while, I peek in just to make sure it’s still there, sigh, and close the drawer. And maybe one day, we’ll be together again. Maybe. Just not today.