Tethered No More – Life Beyond the Smartphone

I have scheduled my cell phone to be shut off at the end of this billing cycle.

This is just a small bit of the changes I’ve decided to make in my life. I want to be more connected and less contracted, for lack of a better word. I’m changing the way I shop by deleting re-curring online orders and depending less on having products shipped in large trucks that use so much fuel. I’m changing the way I spend, decreasing and eliminating my dependence on big stores in favor of smaller, local ones. I’m changing the way I eat, depending less on convenience foods and exploring the world of slow food, and growing more of the foods we eat.

It’s been a gradual change, and I’m certainly not where I want to be with all of it yet, but I’m enjoying the process. The cell phone thing seems to be the one that has drawn the most attention. It’s weird to me, but this is the world we live in, I guess, where having the world tethered to our hips is normal. Even my seven-year old has expressed her concerns, “I’m not ready for this.” She told me this morning with tears in her eyes. (literally)

Her concerns: No videos for when she’s bored in restaurants (not that I ever give her my phone, that’s her dad’s thing) and no Spotify when we’re in the car.

I admit the Spotify thing is a concern for me as well, as I cannot stand mainstream radio.

Seriously, I feel for people today when that’s all they have to listen to. I feel for myself as I’ll be in the car for a couple of hours today, trapped with that nonsense and the ads for flu shots and other non-essentials that we should all immediately and fearfully rush out to get to protect ourselves from the big, bad world.


The world is terrified of everything. EVERYTHING.

The other day, I saw where a news channel made big news because thirty-two children got the chicken pox in a local school here where I live. Why this made news at a channel in Lexington, Kentucky is beyond me. Why this made news at all is just crazy to me. Today, parents are terrified of a chicken pox “outbreak,” whereas when I was a kid, parents rushed to the outbreak so all the kids had it at the same time and therefore contained the disease in one location. We got over it in a week or so and went on with our lives.

I know, I know. There are exceptions! Children DIE from chicken pox!

The fact is, 100 children have died from chicken pox per year prior to the vaccine and they continue to do so. Some children die from the vaccine. MORE children die in car accidents while their parents are distracted at the wheel (by cell phones, no doubt), than from chicken pox every year, yet no one is worried about that. As a matter of fact, most are rushing out to buy the newest Apple or Samsung gadget.

All of which can pinpoint your exact location at any time of day.

Did you know that if you allow the microphone in Instagram, it can pop up at any time of day to listen to you. Don’t believe me? Pick up your phone once in a while and look in the upper right corner and you will occasionally see a little microphone, even when you’re not on Instagram. I did and it took me a while to figure out what was going on. You can always change the settings to not allow this, but you have to switch back in order to use stories on that app. Don’t freak out. Just be aware.

I realize I may sound a little conspiracy-theorist here, but I’m not. I am just becoming more and more aware of how our “conveniences” may be more convenient for someone else who may or may not have our best interests in mind.

Example: Talk about mattresses with my husband in the living room one evening. The next morning, I’m bombarded with ads for mattresses on Facebook.

Coincidence? I think not.

Our cell phones may keep us connected. They may be helpful when we’re in an accident – although mine was actually not helpful to me at all when I was in an accident a couple of years ago. My husband was in Las Vegas, and when I made calls to find a ride for my daughter, my dog and me, no one answered their phones except one friend who was unable to come. I had to rely on the help of complete strangers who were present for the accident.

The world is not so bad as we’re led to believe. I believe there are still more good people in this world than bad. I still believe in goodness.

So I’m making major changes in my life and it feels good, yet weird. I feel like one of those crazy peripheral people who only eats potatoes in winter, and only wears wool and cotton. I’m not, but I do see the reasoning behind it and I’m bringing some of that logic into my daily life. Here on the blog, I’ll share a little of what I learn along the way.

Will I venture back into the convenient, connected world of Smartphones? I have no idea. Time will tell, I guess. With that said, I’m off to meet a friend. Have a lovely day, everyone!







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