Putting It Down


This past December, I found myself in quite a predicament. My phone stopped working and I had to order a new one (that took over two weeks to arrive) then the wrong phone was sent, so I had to send it back and wait longer. All that to say—I lasted for an entire month with no phone. One month, no phone. Me.
It was the holidays, so there was a lot to do with work and family including travelling to the US and Europe on two separate trips—five airports in total (I know where the payphones are in all those airports). Luckily I had my laptop but I also decided early on that I had to adopt a new attitude about my lack of phone. I had to be zen about it (I’m not zen about anything—just using the word zen is so un-zen) and remember that I have lived longer without a cell phone than I have with one, so I could do this. It took me a while, but I soon realized that people didn’t need to reach me as badly as they thought they did (and I them). I especially loved saying to my kids: “Don’t call me after school because I don’t have a phone. Just go straight home and stick to the plan!” Yes, remember those words? Stick to the plan. They were shocked and horrified at the very thought, but it worked. When did we stop sticking to the plan?

I will admit I wasn’t as productive on many levels during this experiment, but I did notice that I was able to do other things. For example, I found myself having more human conversations—in the car, in waiting rooms, in the airport. I read signs and watched people. Seriously. Try sitting in a waiting lounge with no cell phone or emails and you are taken back to your youth when you just sat…and watched…and thought. It’s not a bad thing to do once in a while. It actually makes you look up and realize what’s going on around you. You could be missing stuff.

That’s what Cat Greenleaf, a recovering Blackberry addict realized a little while ago. She was missing things—like her toddlers antics—while her head was buried in her PDA. So she launched one of my new fave sites. It’s called Look Up Stop Texting, a website/movement/online shop whose sole purpose is to get you to live in the moment and get off your smart phone. I know, it sounds scary, but she offers tips on putting your phone down, a place to share what you see when you finally do look up, and onesies, toddler tees, and phone cases emblazoned with the phrase “Put It Down” for extra motivation.
Now that I have my phone back (and let me be clear, I couldn’t be happier about it) I think I’ll order some of the skins for my Blackberry. Just as a little reminder that I can stick to the plan.

Check out the site (lustbklyn.com) and remember to look up, live in the moment. There’s a lot happening out there that you don’t want to miss.


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