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    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    No Cell Phones!

    This past week, I undertook a seemingly impossible task...I went without my cell phone for a week.

      I was challeneged by a few of my fellow Student Ministries Pastors to take a phone fast for a week.  They thought I would be in the featle position keeled over and useless by day 3.  There was no such drama.  I decided to take them up on their challenge and thought it was a good idea. 

      I was spurred on, not only by their challenge, but by a YS article I read Titled: "Do You Need a Digital Sabbath?" by Andrew Burden.  So like I said, I took the plunge and reliquished my phone for a whole week.

      Being away from my phone was weird, and I'll admit difficult at times.  I felt "Phantom buzzing" on my leg for the first few days but I didn't have the amount of withdrawl I assumed I would have.

      I hated not being able to just call someone, or just check my email without having to lug out a computer.  I despised the fact that when someone had to get ahold of me, they couldn't because I wasn't always connected to a phone...yet I liked this as well.  Not being on "constant call" has its perks.

      I am a guy who leans heavily on his pda (which is also my phone) to remind me of meetings and tasks that need to get done.  I realized I'm not as bad as I thought at remembering to do stuff.

      I found that people were more upset about my no phone usage than I was myself.  People had gotten used to me being always available and when I wasn't, this bugged them.

      Some people I need to be in constant contact with (like my wife) but others, not so much.

      I found it hard not being able to text a quick note to someone or ask a  quick question via text...I didn't realize how much I relied on text messaging throughout the day until this little experiment.

      I am the kind of guy that enjoys networking on facebook, twitter and the like, so my constant ability to check those sites was gone for a week...which I will admit was hard.

      I learned a ton about this little challenge:

    1. I don't need to rely on my phone nor constant connection as much as I thought I did

    2. I need more time away from my phone so I can spend more time on family and tasks

    3.  Letting go of my phone for meetings (by leaving it in my office) will be what I do from now on, even though I may get bored without it.

    4.  When I drown out the communication with the world, I can have better communication with God

    5.  People like me being available, which is good but most people shouldn't be relying on "instant communication" with me.

    6.  I enjoyed some of the freedoms not having a phone brought about.

      All in all, it was a good experience.  One I will repeat at smaller spurts but never again for a whole week.  Although the challenge was good because it was hard, a week without a cell phone in todays world was just too much.

      Well, that's what I learned from being unplugged from my cell phone.  Maybe you should think about unplugging from something...


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