Why I’m Glad My Smartphone Got Stolen

We were at the beach when our cabana got broken into.

iPhone, Macbook, wallet. All gone. They even cracked the safe.

The sunset was nice, though.

The Challenge

After my phone got stolen in Costa Rica, I made the decision to not replace it for 30 days. I like doing little monthly challenges like this. They make me uncomfortable.

It’s been 46 days so far. Still no phone.

Is something wrong? No.

Did I go broke? No.

Do I think it makes me look cool? Maybe a little bit. But that’s not the real reason.

The Reason

Here’s why I haven’t replaced my phone yet: freedom.

Technology doesn’t run my life anymore. Not that I was ever a total addict. I just got used to being connected all the time.

I can still use my computer for most things when I’m at home. But when I’m out during the day, I have nothing to bring with me.

This has had three significant side-effects…

  1. I have to be more intentional. Before, I could just use Google Maps when I wanted to go somewhere new. Now I have to write down directions. Sometimes I get lost, and that leads to new adventures.
  2. I have to experience blank space. Since I don’t have a computer in my pocket anymore, I can’t pack every single second of my day with shit. No email, no Facebook, nothing. It's actually made me more productive on the whole.
  3. I have to be more present. It’s pretty unbelievable what you can see when you don’t have your head down all the time. You start to realize how much is happening around you.

My phone used to be the fuel for my Creative Avoidance. Without one, I’ve been forced to slow down. It’s easier now to determine what’s really important.

The Takeaway

I used to give meaning to my phone. If I misplaced it, my heart sank. It felt like a part of me.

When the iPhone 6 came out, I waited in line to get it. I’m embarrassed to admit that. I guess I just wanted the experience of being first.

I’ll probably get another phone eventually. Verizon will only let me suspend my contract for a few months. But when I do get a new phone, it will be on my terms.

You don’t have to get your valuables stolen like I did to experience this. All you have to do is spend one day without a phone. You’ll be amazed at what you notice.

Who’s really in control? You or your phone?

(Photo credit: Esther Vargas via cc)

Greg Faxon

Greg Faxon, 2829 Connecticut Avenue NW (Apt 513), Washington, DC 20008, United States