I have a confession to make. I don’t go anywhere without my cell phone. and I mean that literally. I mostly use the excuse that I need it with me constantly if I am away from my family for any period of time, like when Cody and Nick are at school and Paul is at work or if I travel without them. When we are all at home together, I’m less obsessed about having it right by my side, but I won’t lie, it’s still usually within an arm’s reach. I’ve thought about deleting certain apps as a way of reducing the number of times I look at my phone during the day, but then I just moved one of the icons away from the home screen, which really doesn’t count. Needless to say I’m pretty hooked on my phone and don’t really make any apologies about it until Nick makes a comment that causes me to take a closer look at my behavior. He’s 15, but doesn’t even have a smartphone yet and rarely picks up his phone to send a text message, let alone make a phone call. He sets a good example for all the grown-ups. Granted, I count on my phone for way more than he does, including my email, texting, Facebook, Twitter, and several other apps, but I do think I take my phone for granted sometimes. I can just as easily use my laptop for most of those needs, but sometimes it’s easier and more convenient to simply reach for my phone instead.
U.S. Cellular’s ‘No Phone Challenge’ with Mark Malkoff
When the team at U.S. Cellular shared their “Love Your Network” program with me I intrigued, but also a little nervous because they are kicking it off today with a huge challenge that I wasn’t really sure I could accept. It’s called the No Phone Challenge and if you’re anything like me, just the words no and phone in the same sentence cause you to get a little twitchy, especially when I think about how I use my phone to stay “connected” to the people in my life……oh, let me count the ways.
- I recently started using my phone as an alarm clock because the one that plugs into the wall died.
- On occasion I use it to make an actual phone call. Remember when that was the only thing we used a cell phone for?
- And then there is the rare embarrassing photo that I need to snap when someone in my family is either sleeping or doing something foolish. Don’t worry. I take the pictures, but I rarely ever share them.
- I play Words with Friends on my phone.
- I check my email on my phone.
- I send text messages to Paul on my phone throughout the day. If I gave it up, even for one day, how would I possibly know that he forgot to pack a fork for his lunch? This is the kind of thing I worry about when considering the No Phone Challenge.
This is really just a small list of the ways I use my phone on a daily basis and I can’t imagine giving it up for any amount of time, but then I decided that if Comedian Mark Malkoff can take the No Phone Challenge and give up his phone for almost an entire week then I can, too. Okay, I’m kidding because I don’t care how influential he is, Mark probably can’t convince me to give up my phone for a whole week, but I think I could live without it for just one day. Maybe. Okay, I’ll totally try, but I hope nobody expects me to call them from a REAL phone because I haven’t had to memorize a phone number in nearly 20 years and I’ll probably be too cranky for that kind of research. One day. Anyone can give up anything for just one day, right? Right?
Someone hand me a paper bag. I think I’m about to hyperventilate.
If you’d like to follow along with Mark’s adventure during the No Phone Challenge, you can keep track of his journey via social media. Just don’t taunt him by tweeting him and commenting on his posts from from your cell phone because that would be mean, but also funny. So yeah, go for it.
Okay, who’s with Mark…….and me? Are you ready to take the No Phone Challenge and give up your beloved gadget for a day? Three days? An entire week? I promise to update you with how it went for me, but I can’t promise it will be pretty.
I’m a compensated member of the U.S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade, but as always thoughts and opinions are my own.