Monday, October 21, 2013

The Cleanse Part I: Life AC (After Cellphone)

It seems it was only a few years ago... like 13... when I was in law school, my friend Joy brought a super cool gadget to class - a big and bulky cell phone. Her monthly plan was 20 minutes per month! I was amazed, nothing seemed cooler for me than walking down the streets of LA, wearing a well tailored suit and high heels, holding a briefcase in one hand and a cellphone in another, and talking to a friend or an associate on the phone. (For some reason this was the picture of the "cool me" at the time.) 

Boy, times have changed! Nowadays I traded the briefcase for a spacious Tory Burch hobo bag which usually has everything I may and may not need. My favorite outfit is now a t-shirt and jeans, and the cellphone I hold by my ear is a compact and sleek white iPhone 4S... which I NEVER EVER part with. 

True, many things have changed - we replaced address books with speed dials (so I don't remember anyone's number any more), we replaced handwritten letters with emails, we text, we tweet, we skype, and we connect with old friends from all over the world on facebook. Not only did we replace good old maps with navigation devices, but we also incorporated traffic reports into them. How convenient! 

Apparently, though, not everyone lives in my kind of universe. I had a case at the detention center recently, and the guards did not allow me to take my cellphone in. Seriously?! My phone has many research notes, my schedule calendar, internet, and it scans and emails documents too. What age are these people living in?! Well, knowing that I won't win the fight against the prison guards without possibly getting myself in trouble which would lead to missing important work, I parted with the phone and put it in the locker provided. 

Well, I survived, but it wasn't easy. Not that I really needed my phone, but I just was ... missing it... like a part of my body... I wasn't kidding when I said I never part with my phone. Do you? 

Ok, I thought, obviously this is not a healthy attachment. My phone is "a thing" (even if it talks to me). And I can't miss "a thing". I almost could not concentrate without holding the phone in my hands and glancing if texts or emails or tweets would pop up. Is it ADD? Is this addiction? Whatever it is, it can't be healthy. Does my attachment to my phone fragment my attention, stress me out, and compromise my quality of life? 

I am afraid that answer to all three is YES, and I have to do something about it! So I decided to do a "cleanse" and give my mind a break from my smartphone for a day... cold turkey. I mean, if a juice cleanse for a day is good for my body, a phone-less day should be good for my mind. I've decided! Tomorrow, my day should not be busy, so it will be a perfect day for this cleanse. I am only scheduled for a quick hearing, a doctor appointment, a few file reviews and meetings, Alex's Taekwondo practice, and a quick trip to the nail salon to change nailpolish. As a matter of fact, I will not use internet on my computer either. I'm just going to have a slow day to detox...

... but what if some kind of disaster would strike while I would be sipping tea and reviewing my files without my phone by my side to alert me instantly via CNN tweet?.. I guess I would have to find out about it when I get home and listen to the evening news. 

Fine, the challenge is set. I promise not to use my smart phone or internet for 24 hours starting at 9PM

Wait, does that mean I need to find a real alarm clock to set a wake up call? Do I even have one?..

I will give you an update of my experiment tomorrow.

With love always,

xo Zuma A.

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