My New Year's Resolution: Put the BlackBerry Down

Emily Abbate
Good News
14

Fall 2009 marked the beginning of an era for me. I was graduating college, coming into my own, and most importantly, was due for a phone upgrade. The flip phone was a staple of the beginning of Y2K. Like many of my friends, I had an indestructible throw it on the ground/drop it in the toilet without any problem brick for about five years that had done me well. But let's be serious, it was time for a life change.

I had been looking forward to the BlackBerry for months. The hottest accessory in Storrs, Connecticut next to a North Face jacket, Ugg boots, and a Longchamp bag -- it was a must have. I felt like an outcast with my flip phone. I not only wanted to be part of the craze, I longed for it. And when I got it, it felt good. It felt reeeeeeeaaallll good.

So who would have thought two years later I'd be hoping for a BlackBerry divorce?

My BlackBerry enabled my inner-stalker and allowed me to connect with friends, on-the-go, in a way that I’ve never been able to before. I bought covers for it. I changed them with the season. I bought an application or two, we started to bond, and it was wonderful. And of course -- it stayed that way for a long time.

We became even closer when my boyfriend left for his second tour in Afghanistan in January 2010. I'd look forward to the small blinking red light that notifies me when someone is trying to reach me, hoping it would be an email from more than 7,000 miles away. I'd rush to grab it at a vibration, hoping it would be a phone call -- and dreading a missed chance to hear from him. Because of this, it was always in my hand. And when I wasn't staring at the screen wondering, I was scrolling through Twitter, messaging unimportant things with friends, and Googling anything my little heart desired.

So it was natural that when he got home this November, I slowly started to neglect my phone. After watching it and paying attention to it night and day for the last nine months, I was over it. Soon, I began to feel free and I started to realize -- I was actually happier. Sure, it's nice to know what Khloe Kardashian's tweeting about or what Angelina Jolie was sporting at the Golden Globes -- but it's not vital, and it took the act of letting go to learn that.

Life is so much less restricting without the phone in my hand. My free time suddenly becomes just that, free. I'm less stressed. I'm more in tune with what's going on around me. And most importantly, I'm engaging and actively participating in where I am, in the moment.

It's not that I don't love you anymore, Berry. It's that life is just so much less hectic when we're not attached. It's for the best, I promise. And of course, if this resolution is too hard to keep -- then I guess I could always switch to the iPhone.

Are you attached to your cell phone?


Image via ilamont.com/Flickr

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