8 Things That Happened When I Ditched My Phone For 24Hrs

I love my phone. But sometimes it’s too much for me to deal with. Every three seconds I hear a ‘ping’ ‘click’ ‘ding’ or some other noise coming from my phone, letting me know that it’s craving my attention once again. At one point, my phone addiction had gotten “RILL RUH-DIK-UH-LUSS (as my wife would say).” I was finding myself spending more time with my phone than I was with my work, my family…and even God.

So one Saturday, I did the unthinkable. I turned off my phone for 24 hours. Not just on silent or vibrate…but completely off!

(Yes, I survived, and no I didn’t go crazy hahaha). But here’s eight interesting things that happened to me that day.

(Let me add too that i also didn’t turn on my computer, iPad, or TV. Nor did i try to amuse myself or fill my brain with anything at all…no books, no games, magazines, nothing. Zero external stimuli besides my family. I had nothing on me but a plain white notebook to capture thoughts.)

#1 - I Felt Less Hurried & Worried

It seemed like time had slowed wayyy down. Even though I was running errands with Jasmine, I didn't feel like the world was going to end if I didn't get from Point A to Point B "on time."

#2 - I Could "Hear" Again

I remember praying to God for something very specific at that time in my life, but feeling like He wasn't listening. On that Saturday, suddenly my thoughts didn't have to fight through a bunch of other garbage in my brain. I was less distracted, so I could finally think clearly and hear God's instructions again.

#3 - I Could "See" Again

For once, I could "see" the people and things around me again. In cheesy movies when someone's in love, they say, "colors are more vivid, flavors don't taste the same, everything's more vibrant..." But I really felt that way! I'd forgotten how beautiful my surroundings could be. I was able to "be there" and be present with my wife and daughter. I had a great time hanging out with them, and I didn't feel like they were intruding on my email/tweet/status update/blog-reading time.

#4 - I Felt Less Obligated to Impress People

This was a big one for me. I didn't realize how much I was overthinking my social media posts until that day. I was always worried about getting the right filter, crop, effect, angle, wording, blah blah blah (and most days I'd just give up on posting anything) because of what someone else might say. That day, I didn't feel compelled to make other people see that I was having a great day. I was content with just HAVING the great day : )

#5 - I Felt Like An Outsider

Everywhere we went that day, I noticed how everyone else's eyes were glued to their device screens. I was actually annoyed. I wondered if that's what I looked like when I was constantly on my phone in the presence of others.

#6 - I Was Afraid Of People At First, Then Became Excited By Their Presence

This one sounds kind of weird, so let me explain. We went to the grocery store that day, and it was packed (as usual). But what made that day different was that I didn't have anywhere to "hide." I had no choice but to look people in their eyes, say hello, pay attention to strangers, etc. It was weird at first, but then it was awesome! I was saying hey to everyone I saw, and it felt good to make genuine connections with them.

#7 - I Couldn't Run From My Issues

Life's not perfect, things are not perfect, and we're not perfect. But media devices sometimes allow me to run and hide from the stuff I don't like about my life...and from the things that God is trying to change in my heart. That day, I couldn't pacify my inner garbage with games, apps, tweets, or texts. I had to be real, face the facts, and face God to hear what He had to say.

#8 - I Didn't Feel Like I Was Missing Out On Life

I found myself smiling all day...for no reason at all. People probably thought I was crazy, but I just felt SO FREAKIN' GOOD! It didn't matter that I couldn't peak into everyone else's life that day. My life was happening right there in front of me, and there was plenty to be enjoyed.

So did I ever turn my phone back on? Well duh lol.

But only after realizing the importance and value of the people and things around me. Since that day, I've never turned my notifications back on, and it's really helped me to stay present in each moment.

In the words of Craig Groeschel, "technology should enhance our relationships, not replace them. Let's put technology back in its place."

So, if you're made it to the end of this blog post, I have a challenge for you : )

I challenge you to ditch your phone for 24 hours and see what happens. Leave a comment below and let me know how it goes. I can't wait to hear from you!


- GF