The Upside of Being Without Your iPhone

IPhone_5CThere was an upside of having my car and iPhone stolen last week just before a business trip.

My car, laptop and suitcase were quickly recovered, but my iPhone, which was in the front seat, was gone – most likely to be resold or chucked into the river. That was last Sunday night and it was not until later on Tuesday that I was full restored to the standard of the world. That means a I bravely continued with my planned travel, worked and lived without my iPhone for nearly 48 hours! That means, I made it to East Tennessee and back without a map (Lewis and Clark would be so proud), without texting, without placing a call, without picking up my iPhone every five miles to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.

Miraculously, I lived and realized a few things:

1. My anxiousness gave way to thankfulness – I would have normally felt out of touch while the fires of work spun out of control. I would have normally been dying to know what was transpiring and been anxious about not being able to know. Then I realized I had received a gift. I realized just how dependent I have become on this little box, roughly the size of a cigarette pack (cigarettes, it turns out, arent good for you either). When I saw my car drive off without me in it, many things occurred to me:

  • STOP!!!!!
  • What if they (there was 2 of them) hurt or kill someone?
  • They’ll trash my car…right?
  • They’ll crash my car…right?
  • What if my kids had been in the car?

This gave me some perspective. While I was pissed, I was thankful that – all things being equal – the damage done was minimal. In fact, the phone being taken from the car may have been a blessing. 

2. I noticed what was around me – East Tennessee is mountainous and very nice to look at all times of year, but it looks really awesome in the Fall. I noticed it, like I would have noticed it making the same drive 15 years ago without a cell phone to distract me. Also, the sunset was spectacular. I should have taken a picture…..but no phone means no camera. I guess it will have to stand in my mind as a glimpse of the world between me and God. I’ll take that. I’ll take more of that.

3. I cleared my head – No phone meant minimal distractions. It was just me, the road and the radio. I gave thought to what my priorities should be, how I should best spend the rest of my time, and other things that I needed to pay attention to in my life.

In the end, I was able to communicate with my wife via email and chat functions though the laptop from the hotel or whenever I pulled over. By late Tuesday morning, I was back online, but I am strangely nostalgic for the recent days of no phone.

Man, I miss those days.

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