Hi! It’s Heather The Happy Blogger coming to you from our apartment near the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
We’re nearing the end of our stay here and while we don’t know where we’re going next just yet, I must say that being back in Central Florida has been fun yet a bit of a challenge and a personal growth experience. (More details might come about this in the form of a future blog or special report.)
When I walked out of Wal-Mart earlier this month with a $20 Boost Mobile cell phone and a feeling of pride, I sorta felt like I was having an out-of-body episode. I sold my iPhone 4 and canceled my AT&T contract while we were in Berlin for three months and didn’t miss it the entire time we were there. My Google Voice number served me well and I video chatted with people in the States using Skype too.
Once we were back and driving around Orlando, I wanted a cell phone in case of an emergency and for convenience when meeting up with friends. I know that sometimes plans change and it’s easier to connect when there’s a cell phone involved.
Not that it’s impossible because I met up with my sister and best friend at the science center successfully sans phone. It was funny though and since we didn’t have a set plan, I had to be creative with my execution.
I showed up at the Orlando Science Center around the time we were supposed to get together and wanted to know if they were there. Naturally I asked the girl selling tickets if there was a paging system inside the building. She asked me if I lost someone and I explained that I didn’t have a cell phone but no, it wasn’t a missing persons emergency.
She was helpful and told me while they couldn’t do a personal page, I could use the house phone. I turned around to discover sitting right outside the gift shop was a mini-office setup complete with a couch, two chairs, and a complicated looking phone with all sorts of buttons.
After dialing 9 (this wasn’t intuitive, the directions were posted on the handset), I called my best friend and said, “Heather’s makeshift office.” We laughed and once everyone arrived we had a blast exploring the exhibits while chasing her fleet-footed, two-year-old twin boys.
What I really like most about not having an iPhone (aside from knowing that I’ll save thousands of dollars over the next five years) is that it keeps me more focused and present when I’m out and about.
I used to be hyper-connected to my gadget and it got to the point where my mom called me a gerbil. While riding in the car or waiting in line, there I’d be nose down messaging, commenting, shopping, or aimlessly surfing the Net. At one point Adam imposed a no iPhone usage decree at the dinner table. OMG–I was acting like a flippant teenager!
In retrospect, it was up to me to see that I was wasting a lot of time that I’d never get back and make the decision to disconnect. Spending that much energy on social media sites wasn’t going to reward me monetarily. My behavior was all ego driven and I was totally caught up with who was saying what and posting this, that, and the other.
Now when I’m out, I can enjoy what I’m doing 100% and absorb the entire experience. Yes, it’s important for me to share but the immediacy isn’t that critical. To you, the reader, I say thank you for your patience and I hope what we produce is worth the wait.
Talk to me! What have you given up that you thought you couldn’t live with out? I’d love to know and so would others!