Smartphones have become a very big part of our lives over the last decade, but when are they too much of a good thing? All the constant interruptions and notifications drove Jenna Woginrich to distraction, which is why she completely gave up her phone 18 months ago. Writing in The Guardian, Woginrich tells us what it’s been like to go smartphone-free for the past year and a half and it sounds like there are some definite upsides to it.
At the start of her piece, she reveals that she no longer has any cell phone and says that people can only contact her via her email on her laptop or on her landline telephone. While she says not having a mobile phone is inconvenient in a lot of ways, it’s freeing to not be constantly threatened by distractions.
“I’m a freelance writer and graphic designer with many reasons to have a little computer in my holster, but I don’t miss it,” she explains. “There are a dozen ways to contact me between email and social media. When I check in, it’s on my terms. No one can interrupt my bad singing of Hooked on a Feeling with a text message. It’s as freeing as the first night of a vacation.”
This is something I can definitely sympathize with as a certified smartphone addict. I’ve basically eliminated all of the notifications I receive outside of text messages and actual phone calls because I really don’t need to be alerted every time someone emails me a pitch for their terrible Kickstarter project or when someone favorites one of my tweets. The number of distractions we have in our lives is pretty ridiculous and it’s frankly nice just to have space to think.
Woginrich also says that her quality of life has been much better off ever since she dumped her phone.
“I got a landline and I got more sleep,” she says. “I look people in the eye. I eat food instead of photographing it and am not driving half a ton of metal into oncoming traffic while looking down at a tiny screen. My business, social life, and personal safety have not evaporated overnight either. Turns out a basic internet connection and laptop is plenty of connectivity to keep friends informed, weekends fun and trains running on time.”
It admittedly sounds nice although I don’t think I could do it myself. And even if I wanted to, the fact that my job involves a lot of writing about phones and phone apps would make it more than a little difficult.