Why a broken phone is a good thing

On a Friday night, my phone broke. Let’s just say it’s best to always keep your phone in its case. In that moment, I was in shock – I had just lost something super important to me! What was I going to do?

There was a phone plan I had my eye on, but it required waiting for the phone to come in the mail, which meant I was definitely out a phone for the weekend, and maybe even for the week.

After the first few hours of panic subsided, I figured I could find ways around not having a phone for a bit. I wasn’t going on a full-on digital sabbatical after all. I couldn’t really, I build websites for a living and I work during the week. I ended up using Facebook messenger and the iMessenger app on my laptop to get a hold of people. Other than that, it was going to be a break from Instagram, Snapchat, email and all of the other reasons I’d randomly pick up my phone for. And it wasn’t that bad, in fact I learned some great lessons during my surprise phone detox, like:

  1. The urge to pick up a phone happens way too often.
  2. Not sleeping beside a phone is much more restful.
  3. Survival in this wild, digital world without a phone is totally possible.
  4. If a flashlight is needed, an actual flashlight can be used.
  5. There is more presence and awareness while in the company of others without a phone. Heck, there is more presence and awareness in every moment without it tagging along.
  6. Productivity improves at work and at home.
  7. More opportunity to practice silent meditations over audio guided meditations.

Since life seemed to be more carefree without that magical little device, what are some ways to incorporate mindful phone use in daily life?

  • Turn it off and tuck it into a drawer on Sundays
  • Charge it in the living room at night and use an actual alarm clock to wake up in the morning
  • Turn off all notifications
  • Move it away from the desk while at work


Curious how much time your currently spending on your phone? Try the Moment app. I was using it for about a week before my phone broke, and the numbers were a bit staggering. How did I spend at least three hours on a phone one day, when I only pick it up for minutes at a time?

Have you ever been without your trusty mobile device for a couple days? If so, what did you learn from the experience?