So I Finally Ditched My Smartphone

It’s weird to think of off-grid life with a smartphone, isn’t it?

When we first moved to our land, in July of 2010 smartphones seemed like just another annoying fad. We drove to local cafes when we wanted to check something online. I wasn’t freelancing, Seth wasn’t selling his art, and only about 20% of the country was using these invasive little devices anyway.

No one expected constant access to us, so it was easy to stay only semi-connected to friends and family.

But the rise of the smartphone made it harder and harder to stay out of the net. A few years ago, when I tried to replace my little, battery-efficient flip-phone after dropping it in a bucket of water, I discovered just how pushy salespeople could be. There were no flip phone options. I started thinking that a smartphone with a wifi-hotspot could make it easier to sell my writing. Cafes were getting less attractive as my kids got older and wanted lattes of their own. So I caved and signed on to the trend.

I think I’ve regretted it ever since. Not only because smartphones have no battery-life. They need to be recharged a lot, which became a frustrating burden in our little off-gird house. Back-up chargers and mini solar panels take up space too! But it wasn’t until Instagram came out with some excessively invasive new user agreements that we talked seriously about transitioning back to an entirely offline house.

Since cafes aren’t even an option for us in this oppressive new system we’re under, I’m grateful to have my parents’ vacation cabin and my local in-laws nearby. I can still connect to the wide world, blog, write articles, and check my emails; but life in my little homestead is a lot quieter!

It’s made a huge difference in the amount of time I feel is in my day. Homeschooling, animal care, writing (by hand, in notebooks!), and all the other daily things are so much more accessible, while the news (and everyone in the world’s reaction to the news) is less accessible. My mind feels calmer already!

Do I miss anything? Right now, I still miss a few things – easy distractions are so fun, and I did love music and podcasts. But most of what I miss is like missing any unhealthy habit – oreos or cigarettes or trashy television – we all miss self-indulgence when it’s gone, but the feeling of kicking a bad habit is worth all the discomfort early on.

The feeling of quiet and interior solitude is amazing. I’m sure that could get addictive too!

7 Comments Add yours

  1. tat2willa says:

    As my new year has finally started & next month we will be moving to our new house in OK, I will be needing a new phone service & I am thinking of a landline only. I will check out the possibilities when we arrive. Good on you for making the healthy (both mentally & physically) decision for yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A says:

    The Light Phone is the new dumb phone! I’ve been seriously considering it once this one dies. I have the iPad for access when I need it, then my phone will be used just for basic talk and text, no wifi.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Flourishing Antiquity says:

    I’m ditching my smart phone too! I love how so many have recently been inspired to do this! I haven’t had one for very long but it’s crazy how quickly I have come to depend on it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good for you! I am so grateful to not have a smart phone. Even though I miss out on fun things like group texts, photo texts, etc (my “dumb phone” is EXTREMELY basic), not being that connected has far more benefits than losses. This post reminds me of when my husband and I first got married. We were halfway through college, and lived in an apartment off campus. To save money, we didn’t get internet service for our apartment. So, whenever we were home, we were home with no internet (my husband didn’t have a smartphone yet) and it was really peaceful. We did spend lots of time on campus for classes and sometimes would go there specifically to “use the internet” to research, get recipes, etc. which could be a pain, but really, not having internet at home was lovely. Now that I’ve gotten used to living in a house with internet access, I think it’d be really hard to go back to no internet-and I don’t entirely wish to-but I have been trying more and more to be intentional about when and how I use my laptop and engage in the online world. It’s very freeing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. SaltOfMotherhood says:

    I am requesting work provide my “smart phone” as our newest babe and husbands demanding schooling schedule pushes me to a more off-line life. I am ok with it, and reading this, can’t wait to embrace it fully. Soon and very soon…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Masha says:

      Yay! I hope your work is supportive in this! I am loving my more off-line life so much. Enjoy the shift to ‘dumb-phone’ living!

      Like

  6. Adelaide says:

    Hi Masha,
    This post that I “stumbled” upon is life changing. I have had an i phone for the past 5 years and it has robbed so much of my life from me. I cannot believe how addicting they are! I bever thought I would fall prey to technology as I have shamefully done. I am also a Catholic homesteader and homeschool 8 kids. I need every second that I can spare. I felt that our Lord told me in prayer a few nights ago that He hates smartphones. Then, the next morning, I was led to your blog although I had never seen it before. Now I have the courage to banish it from my life and reclaim my freedom. Thank you so much for writing this.

    Like

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