I am #Phoneless

payphone-barbara-rozgonyiSince Sunday, I’ve been stuck in the 90s. My iPhone slid out of my hoodie pocket somewhere at a street fair in Wicker Park. I am #phoneless. What to do when you lose your iPhone.

The last thought I remember before it happened was this.

“I have such a wonderful life. I am so grateful to be alive on such a beautiful day in such a beautiful place.”

We were celebrating our son’s 24th birthday at a street festival, the first stop on an all-day grand tour.

But then, the clouds rolled in.

My iPhone somehow jumped out of my hoodie pocket. At first, I was numb. I mean, it must be somewhere else, right? My purse was a travel bag with 29 pockets. None held an iPhone.

What’s it like to be completely #phoneless? Let me count the ways . . .

I am #phoneless

  1. Time moves more slowly. There’s no continual checking in to see how things are going.
  2. You have more focus and you get way more done when your computer becomes your only screen. This is my second blog post today. It’s been years, literally, since I’ve done that.
  3. I am curiously much more optimistic and upbeat. Maybe because I’m not reacting to so many emotions that social media induces?
  4. There are no notifications. At first, when I heard other iPhones going off, I instinctively wanted to check my phone, and then realized I didn’t have one.
  5. You have to remember directions. Before going downtown last night, I mapped out the best route on my computer and remembered to take Roosevelt Road to Maywood, not 290. My car can also map out directions when I need them.
  6. You can’t phone home from anywhere. Before I left, I sent my husband an email letting him know I planned to leave the event by 7:00. Little did I know that I would still be having fun when the last call lights went on at 9:30. I didn’t get home until 10:45. He had no way of knowing what was going on.
  7. There’s nothing to check in idle moments. Sitting at traffic lights, I am guilty of grabbing my phone to take a picture or see if anyone’s texting me. 99.99% of the time nothing is going on. This would not be true for everyone.
  8. Even after 96 hours, I still have the urge to look at my phone. I thought this feeling would pass by now.
  9. You are the only one, anywhere, without a device. So, you are free to look around, talk to people and be in the moment. There is no distraction and no reason to check out of reality.
  10. You can’t order an uber or anything else, unless you’re in front of your computer.
  11. Parking passes have to be printed out. You can’t scan a code from your phone.
  12. You can’t use Apple pay.
  13. The worst for me? I can’t take iPhone pics, but I can use my camera. It was actually more fun not having my phone than I thought it would be at the event. Having two lenses and a DSLR gave me a different experience, one I’ve missed.
  14. You can’t check in, tweet, post or reply to anything on the internet – unless you’re in front of your computer.
  15. You have to use another phone. For me, this means our home phone. Even my office number is mobile only.
  16. You have no access to an address book, unless you have a hard copy or one in your computer.
  17. You are off duty, in a way. There is no need to be alert to texts, updates and calls.
  18. While I have some mobile phone FOMO, I know I can check in when I want to. I can check voicemail, but I am missing most texts.
  19. You can talk. I had a 45 minute conversation with our son in LA. We can’t text right now [well we can if I use iMessage], but we can talk and talk and talk. You can’t do Facetime, though.
  20. My dog isn’t as self-conscious about being photographed so often.
  21. I feel much calmer, centered and grounded.

For a few moments today, I thought about how peaceful it is to live without being always on and tethered to a device like a lifeline.

It’s been a nice break, but I’m ready to plug back in when my new iPhone gets here tomorrow. Still, I won’t feel guilty about turning it completely off when I want to.


Image Credit: Barbara Rozgonyi , taken at Walt Disney World Epcot in Morocco


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