What Happened When I Was Without My iPhone for Three Weeks

7 Surprising Lessons I Learned

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How long have you ever gone without your iPhone? Ten minutes? An hour?  A day? Three days? Well, try three weeks. Yes, I went three weeks without my iPhone. I learned a few surprising lessons in the process. 

A few days ago, my iPhone would not turn on at all. I wondered what sin I had committed to deserve this hellish sentence. I fasted and prayed for it to turn on, to no avail. I took it to the Apple Store, and the geniuses? Well, they were less than their title indicates. Their only solution was to wipe the phone and return it to the factory settings. This would mean that I would lose all my information. I panicked! I know what you’re thinking: “Marvin, this should not be a problem because I know you backed it up to the Cloud, right? Uh, what had happened was…. Don’t judge me! Because I had not backed up my information in a long time, I knew I was in trouble. You see, my phone is my lifeline, and now all of my contacts, pictures, videos, important dates, and information were inaccessible.

Unable to fix and use my phone, I ordered the new iPhone 6s Plus. However, it wouldn’t be in for three weeks. So, instead of buying a temporary phone during this time, I decided to try to be iPhone-less for three weeks. What follows are some surprising lessons I learned being without my phone for those three weeks.

I didn’t die.

I thought I did hear Swing Low Sweet Chariot and the footsteps of the Grim Reaper a few times, but it was a false alarm! After the first day without it, to my surprise, I was still breathing.

Landlines exist

I had heard of landlines, but to me, they were like unicorns – myths. But, landlines exist and you can actually talk to people on them. This was simply amazing to me.

I rediscovered community

When I told people my phone was broken, they empathized. They looked at me like I had lost my best friend or a long time pet. It was as if they wanted to start a phone fund for me. Then, before I could ask if I could use their phones, they were handing me their phones and telling me to use it to my heart’s content. If you ask nicely, people can be overwhelmingly empathetic and generous.

I became resourceful

If I needed to contact somebody bad enough, I knew exactly whom I needed to call to get the number or email address. I was forced to apply the seven degrees of separation rule. I knew somebody, who knew somebody, who knew somebody, who knew somebody, who knew somebody who knew somebody, who knew somebody, who had the number or email address I needed.

I need to back up my information

It pays to back up your information. Back it up in a cloud, a solar system, an alternative universe, a galaxy, far, far, away. I don’t care where they keep it; I am just glad that it is being kept. The Cloud is my information salvation. I will back up my information every ten minutes, now.

I felt lost driving to my destinations

I didn’t realize how much I used and depended on GPS on my phone. My biggest challenge and rediscovery was getting to my destinations using printed maps.

I was able to think and pray more

Sometimes, my phone is a distraction from the weightier matters of life.

Being without my phone for a few weeks allowed me to think more clearly and be fully present with God and the important people in my life.
I had time to just be, without buzzing, ringing and dinging of notification interruptions.

Instead of waiting until my phone breaks, I am going to build a technology Sabbath into my regular rhythms of life.

Turn Your Minutes into Moments

How long have you been without your cell phone and how did you feel?  What lessons did you learn?

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