During my vacation trip to Africa, I didn’t have my cell phone. There were a few days of withdrawal especially with email. I survived but I now that I’m back in the US I can admit to being addicted.
In our book, Upside: How to Zig When Life Zags, we discuss Need Vs. Want and ask readers to seriously ask the question as they make daily choices—especially in this economy. Do I really need this item?
“I need that toy”! Exclaims a child to his mother is a store. This often-heard phrase is a reminder of our society’s use of the word need. We need shelter and food—but what else do we really need? Abraham Maslow created a diagram in 1943 that outlines basic needs of mankind. Shelter and food are the essential foundation of the hierarchy, and once those are satisfied, love, acceptance, meaningful work and social relationships follow. (Excerpt)
In an August 19 article in the Chicago Tribune, a reporter, Mary Schmich, writes about getting her cell phone deluged in Lake Michigan in a wet biking splash. After days without a cell phone, she still managed to get her story written—no easy task. She had some words of wisdom as she was going through cell phone detox, “Life is largely a series of itches. We mistake cravings for necessities, dependencies for needs.”
As we know cell phones and other “tech toys” make life in our busy world easier, but what are the lessons that we can learn from Mary’s experience? In retrospect, without my phone I was able to be fully present and not distracted. I had a richer experience and was able to quiet my mind and enjoy my trip more.
As you go through your work week, be aware of those things in your life that you feel you really need. Try going without a phone, computer, or other devices. See if you can determine those things you crave vs. necessity– and, avoid those itches.