What happened when I put down my iPhone

The 19-year-old was home for an extended weekend (unexpectedly). It was a busy weekend, but we made time for ourselves, too. The Final Four was on Saturday evening, and so we gathered in the bonus room to engage in a ritual we have enjoyed for many years. Who knows how many more times we will be able to do this?

I’ve had an iPhone now for many years (several iPhones, actually). Like most smartphone users, it sometimes becomes an extension of my hand. It is my reader and music player, and e-mailer, and many other things. I’m typing on it right now using a Bluetooth keyboard. It’s easy to constantly play around on it.

Saturday evening I deliberately left it in the other room for several hours and set it on “Do not disturb.” I usually keep it in my pocket when visiting others, but this time I went one step further and made it much more inaccessible.

Honestly, I didn’t miss it for those few hours. Am I so important that I have to be accessible to others constantly? Is the world going to stop if I don’t check Twitter every hour? What happens if I don’t look at my email for the rest of the evening? Nothing, as it turns out.

It was a perfectly fine evening and we enjoyed two superb basketball games. I thought to myself that this is something I have to do more of. I’ve lived most of my life without a smartphone, so why is it suddenly so important that I constantly have one in my hand or in my pocket? It isn’t so important, after all.


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