A Year Without a Smartphone, PART I.

Well, actually, before I tell you ^ that story ^ , I have to tell you :this: story.

It was the year 2008, and I had just turned 19. It was the year when I saw an iPhone for the first time. Do you remember when you saw your first one? I remember thinking it seemed so unnecessary.

I remember thinking, “Okay, so it’s basically an iPod, but with a phone and the internet on it? But, why would you need to have all your music on your phone?

Why would you need to check your email wherever you are?

Why would you need to take the internet in your pocket with you,

w  h  e  r  e  v  e  r        y  o  u        g  o     ?  ?  “


This was almost ten years ago, which is crazy!

Only ten years ago, and life really was so different.

At that time, I had the kind of phone that you had to add minutes to “as you go”. I already didn’t have a cool cellphone and wasn’t very savvy about technology and things. So that’s where I was coming from.

If I remember correctly, I think some cellphones :did: have internet back then…but it cost money and minutes to actually use it. So, no one really used the internet that way. The internet was something you checked at home or the library, or at an Internet Cafe. (Remember those?)

The internet was already something that could suck me in for hours, even within the confines of needing to find a place that had Wifi. And so the ability to take the internet with me in my pocket seemed like a terrible idea for me. “I would never get one of those phones.” 

Did you say that too?

In my world of friends in their early twenties, not many people had iPhones for quite awhile. It seemed like it was mostly older adults who got them, at first.

I met Bron two years later. I was 21 and he was 28, and I would have considered him an older adult at the time 🙂 . He had a real job and a house and payed real bills. He was the kind of person who would have had an iPhone. And, he did.

I remember trying to overlook the fact that he had a smartphone. :} But, I did think it was a little strange when would tell me a story about something that happened to him that day, and then show me pictures he took to go along with the story. I tried not to hold it against him since I liked him so much, but I thought it was weird that he took so many pictures on his phone! Even the fact that he would :show: me his phone was weird to me.

That was a strange concept back then. But of course, that’s what we all do now!

Now it’s not just working adults who have smart phones, we all have them. And we all have photographic evidence of all the events in our life, and it’s normal and fun to show our friends our pictures on our phones. Or *share* them, through our phones.

But we didn’t always live this way.

It wasn’t till right after we got married that I understood more of the value of having a smartphone; the value of having the internet in your pocket whenever you need it. It really hadn’t played a big role in our relationship till then.

But when our flight home from our honeymoon was cancelled due to weather, the smartphone had it’s first shining moment in our marriage. Instead of panicking like everyone around us, Bron just tapped around on his phone. He looked up a hotel in the area that had room for us, and he found us a transportation service….

I had never really witnessed an iPhone in action like that. It seemed so futuristic! And while all the people without smartphones were stuck in crazy long lines waiting for what the airport could offer them, our problem was taken care of in a jiffy.

I can remember looking back at all the people waiting in lines, and thinking that I was really glad my new husband had a smartphone.

But I still didn’t feel the need to have one of my own. And the statistic that stormy night at the airport seemed about the same as in my own life: not even half of the people I knew had smartphones at the time. This was 2011.

It took a couple of years until it seemed like :most: of my friends had iPhones.

I remember the first time I heard of Instagram, I thought it was weird. Why would you need to share a picture instantly from your phone? With other people who are also sharing their own pictures instantly from their phones?

Facebook was addicting enough for me, and sharing pictures meant having to upload pictures from my camera to my computer. If it were as simple as a tap on my phone, I knew I would have even more trouble with self-control in that area!

In 2014, I told my Facebook friends that I was giving FB up for Lent that year, which was true. But I was also planning to stay off forever if possible. I would delete my account every once in a while, and always enjoyed my breaks. But when I’d return with newfound zeal to have self-control, I would never quite feel good about it’s role in my new season of life as a new Mom. It was just too addicting for me.

I didn’t like how all my free time, between taking care of baby Emmy and housework, usually went there. Without the temptation to sit at the computer and browse my newsfeed, I was more likely to do something creative, or read or rest.

Or ya know, just do something -anything- that didn’t leave me feeling just kind of :blah: afterwards like Facebook always seemed to do.

A couple month into my no-Facebook life, I was given an iPad for my 25th birthday. Since I was off Facebook, I decided to try Instagram. As a Mom of a 1 year old, I was missing that easy social connection a little. And I had to admit the pleasant square-shape of the pictures, and the ability to use filters was appealing to me.

I was also just curious, and I knew a few of my friends had Instagram on their phones. I didn’t have a smartphone, but I was able to use my new iPad to take pictures, and share them instantly that way.

I ended up really enjoying it, and preferring it to Facebook. With the sweet squares and pretty filters and ability to make use of my creative eye, it was a nice little creative outlet for me. I was somewhat starved for creativity in my new role as a stay-at-home-Mom.


I told Bron how I felt like I was just sharing pictures with my friends, and it was fun. It didn’t have the heaviness that Facebook seemed to have, it was much more light-hearted and :just fun: at first. More people seemed to be on Facebook than Instagram, so it seemed less loud and crowded. I liked having a new way to keep in contact with my siblings and friends, and share pictures of my cute child.


It did have a little bit of that familiar addictive feeling that Facebook had given me, so I knew I would have to use to self-control. My iPad could only use Instagram when connected with Wifi, so it had a limit to it’s ability to take over my world, which I liked.

But the ability to take the internet with me wherever I went :in my home: was new. My home internet source had been a desktop computer, which sat at a desk in our living room. But, my iPad could come anywhere with me. That was new.

And the option to see all the little moments of my day as a photo opportunity was new too. At first it was fun: I have always enjoyed looking for the beauty in the pleasant yet ordinary moments of life. Also I have always wanted to have a blog, and Instagram kind of fulfilled that desire, without all the work of sitting at a computer and working for hours on a post.

But, sharing pictures on Instagram slowly changed from a pleasant creative outlet, to my :only: creative outlet. It almost started to define my day. And it was addicting! I did not have peace about it, and I would regularly go back and forth between using it a whole lot, and taking breaks.

When a family member offered me an old iPhone a year later, I must admit that my first thought was: Instagram would be more fun with a smartphone. I could take pictures outside of my own home, and Wifi connection.

Also, text messaging was getting a little difficult as the only one of my friends without emojis and fancy group message abilities.

I also have a terrible sense of direction and would get lost fairly regularly, so a GPS in my pocket sounded like a good idea.

Without much of a fight, we decided I should join my generation and get a real smartphone.




And I had one for about a year and a half, until this time last year.

Soon, I’ll tell the rest of the story of how and why I decided to go back to a non-smartphone for a year.

Disclaimer: I am not trying to make anyone feel like they need to get rid of their iPhones, or place unnecessary guilt on everyone I know who enjoys their smartphone.

But I know that many of us older Millenials have a love/hate relationship with our phones, and I have often heard friends and family say they “just want to go back to having a flip-phone.”

Well, I did! And it was quite an adjustment.

I want to share my story and what I’ve learned so far. And…

my decision to continue with my flip-phone after a year together,

or break up with it. 💔


🍂📱To Be Continued📱🍂…

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