When smart phones aren’t smart

when smart phones are not smartWhen smart phones aren’t smart, they’re kind of silly.  After spending an entire weekend at “Camp No-Fi”  with a “dumb phone” I’ve got a few thoughts on the subject.

You do remember how I feel about my phone, right?  I spent an entire week devoted to it.  I’m a better parent because of my phone.

Smart phone = happy mom.

“Dumb phone” = Flashlight.

The first night night, we walked from one cabin to the next using only the light from our phones.

it was country dark

We were in the country. It was a cloudy night, and it was dark. I’m not talking about the dark we get in the city where the ambient glow of street lights and neon softens the darkness into an almost permanent twilight. Or even the dark of the suburbs where there are ponds of darkness punctuated by pools of light.

No. This was dark. This was the “I can’t see my hand in front of my face” dark. If the stars had been visible, my kids would have gotten a lesson in astronomy AND Texas history.

(the next night, there were stars.)

It was country dark.

Texas History? It’s in our song.

The stars at night are big and bright
Deep in the heart of Texas.

When you get out away from cities and find that country-dark, the night sky is amazing. There are so many stars, it takes my breath away.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Psalm 8:3-4

I wish I could say I stood in awe and wonder and thought deep thoughts.

But the reality is that it was just me. Standing in the dark of a cloudy starless night. Gripping my smart phone that was no longer very smart.

No bars feels weird.

I was standing at the top of a hill, holding my phone in the air, trying to get a single bar. I have Verizon.

Can you hear me now?

Between everyone there, all them major phone providers were represented.

Can you hear me now?

Nope. Every one of us was the proud owner of a “dumb phone.”

Smart phones were useless.

You know what you can’t do on a dumb phone?

You can’t update your Facebook status. You can’t check Twitter. You can’t check you email. You can’t look up a recipe for deviled eggs that you need for Easter. You can’t play Words With Friends – with friends.

I couldn’t send text messages to my husband in the next cabin to tell him it was time for lunch.  I had to use “sneaker net” and send a kid with the message.

I couldn’t send a text message to my husband when he was in the same room.  All my snarky comments had to stay inside my head – there was no way I could share them silently.  Ugh!

You know what you can do with a “dumb phone?”

Play Angry Birds.

Take photos that you can’t Instagram.

Hunt for spiders in the dark using a handy flash light app named “please drain my battery.”

(what?  you don’t know about spider hunting?  go out in the dark.  hold a small flashlight between your eyes.  point it towards the base of a tree or somewhere that looks like spiders would lurk.  see the little blue lights?  those are spider eyes.  i’m not kidding.)

It’s good to be home.

My smart phone is smart again.  It took us over four hours to get home, and I spent almost the entire time on my phone.  I’ve caught up on all my social games.  I’ve deleted most of the spammy emails.  I checked up on celebrity gossip.  I’ve downloaded the kids’ spelling lists for the week.

We had a blast.  It was wonderful.  I have so many blog-worthy moments to share.  But I’m glad to be home.

How was your Easter weekend?  Did you have a great time?

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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