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Dominion Blog

Saying Goodbye To My Smartphone

Posted by Lillian Bewley on Aug 2, 2023 10:19:55 AM

Over a year ago, Mrs. Bewley (2nd-grade teacher at South Campus) and her husband decided to ditch their smartphones. Read on to learn more about their thoughts at the time they did so, and then see what they have to say after more than a year without a smartphone! 

“My husband and I decided to get rid of our smartphones, and we couldn’t be happier.  Our ‘dumb’ phones give us the ability to call and text without the temptation to scroll the Internet. Now, our phones are simply tools for communication. They are no longer tiny computers in our pockets, highlighting the differences of opinions that exist online, distracting us at the dinner table, and desensitizing us to the madness of modern culture. 

Our decision to switch grew out of a desire to become more intentional with our time. We grew tired of the distractions, of picking up our phones for one reason and finding ourselves scrolling aimlessly, completely unaware of the passing time. Since ditching our smartphones, we both have found ourselves more present and at peace. We are not bombarded with news articles from around the world or work emails that can be handled the next day. We aren’t constantly looking through the lens of our cameras to capture the perfect moment. When we are experiencing a lull in conversation or waiting in line, we’ve found that we don’t immediately need to fill that space with worldly stimulation. What if we spent that time thinking, praying, or just sitting? Who knows how God might use that time?

We’ve had to ask for directions more and missed the ease of our smartphones from time to time, but we’ve been thankful for the break from screens that are ever pervasive. We have felt more rooted and connected to our community since getting rid of our smartphones. It has given us more space, creativity, and time for those we love.” 

Now, it’s been over a year since they’ve switched and they answered a few questions about their experience. 

  1. So you wrote that initial reflection only a short time after switching away from your smartphone. How long have you been "smartphone free" now?

I have been smartphone free for about a year, and Nic for more than two years—although I went back to my smartphone shortly for our international trip to the Philippines! 

  1. Have you noticed any different benefits or drawbacks in the longer term? 

I leave my phone somewhere and often forget where I last had it. Initially, I thought that I was just becoming more forgetful, but a friend suggested that since I rely less on my phone I don't feel the "need" to have it. It also forces us (for better or for worse) to rely more on in-person human interactions to get through the day. Whether asking for directions or paper menus at the restaurant, we enjoy the added interaction with our physical surroundings.

  1. What was the most difficult part of switching? Any regrets? 

The world operates under the assumption that you have a smartphone. You need to scan a QR code for a menu or are expected to fill out a form virtually at the doctor's office. Traveling has also become a bit more complicated with different tickets and other documentation that can be found online. Although I don't regret giving up my smartphone, I am glad that I still have my old smartphone to use when we are traveling. Taking a quick picture is also out of the question, but that has its pros and cons. 

  1. What would you say to someone who is thinking of making the switch? Any specific model of phone you recommend?

We are continually grateful for one less distraction when we are spending time just us two, and when we are in a big group. We may check for a text, but that's as far as we get. We no longer have an opportunity to get sucked into the internet. We truly feel more present and connected with each other and our community. 

The two different models of dumbphones that we've tried are the Light Phone and the Wisephone. They have different amenities, but the Wisephone operates with the ease of a smartphone with no internet access, while the Light Phone is a smaller device that makes texting more difficult, but it can hotspot and download music and podcasts.