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What My Non-Smartphone Taught Me About Life

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I'm a techie.

 

I admit it- if it's new, shiny and requires a power cord, I'm interested.  If Apple makes it, I'm looking for my wallet.

 

For better or worse, this "trait" has been passed on to my children.  They know the value of data.  They routinely look for wifi in public places.  They are a chip off the old block...

 

And then something serious happened about a month ago: we ran out of data.  This was cause enough for a Family Meeting, which of course the kids hate.  Bear in mind that not ten years ago, this concept (losing data) would have made no sense at all but in 2016, data is a big deal.

 

We see data as a right, an entitlement and a part of everyday life.

 

I was traveling for work that month and needed to use a lot of data and returned with two weeks left in our billing cycle with (gasp!) very little data to spare.  Since we have a family shared-data plan, this became a family problem.

 

We shut down almost everything that would consume data and by the end of the month, just made it with .07GB to spare. Phew!

 

But you know what?  Those two weeks with basically zero data taught me a few things.  First, I learned that most of the stuff I do on my phone is kind of lame and going without it was no big deal.  So I can't check Facebook?  Ok.  So I can't see Instagram updates when I'm at the grocery store?  No big deal. 

 

And, even better, I learned to daydream.  I learned to be bored again.  To stare out the window and watch stuff.  It was nice.

 

As it turns out, my not-so-smartphone without data taught me a great deal.  It made it easier for me to unplug and just be with my family and friends.  It taught my kids the value of margin and open space. 

 

One final thing: it taught me that Facebook and Instagram aren't nearly as interesting as I had previously thought. 

 

Here's to the simple things in life... With or without data.

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