Saturday, January 23, 2021

31-Day Phone Challenge - Day 23


Have you ever forgotten your phone? I have. And I’ve turned the van around to go back home to get it.

We think it necessary to be constantly available to our children and others. And maybe it is. (Though the other Sunday, when I realized I forgot my phone, I figured all my children were with me and if we had a flat tire, many Good Samaritans would be passing us on their way to church so I didn’t go back and get my phone.)

Anyone born before the ‘90s should know that not having a phone is not a crisis, but many of us live like it is. We may get twitchy after an hour without our phone.

Cal Newport in Digital Minimalism recommends taking a thirty-day detox with the goal of doing a digital declutter. During this detox, you take a break from all optional technologies on your phone and computer. The first week is expected to be difficult as you adjust to life without apps and the web, but by the end of the month you should have a greater clarity on what technology adds value to your life and what is a distraction to the life you really want to live.

While I’ve never done a thirty-day detox, I’ve done several short media fasts.

This spring, my brother challenged all of us siblings to take a one-day phone/internet fast. I didn’t tell the children, but before I went to bed that night, I hid all our laptops and phones.

We found our screen-free day challenging—I assume that proves we needed it. My children and I definitely experienced withdrawal symptoms. But we survived those twenty-four hours, and, when I got back online, I hadn’t missed anything important.

Since then, I’m been wondering if I should make a media fast day a regular routine, maybe once a month.

Today’s Challenge: Sometime this weekend, turn off your phone for 24 hours. I know, the thought is painful, so don’t overthink it, just do it.

You may have a job that requires you to be always on alert. If you are a midwife or a firefighter or if the lives of others depend upon you answering your phone, then please keep it on. Or maybe you are a mom that needs to stay in contact with your husband or children. Can you keep your phone calling and messaging on but turn off everything else?

I will not be posting tomorrow, Day 24, so you don’t have to get online to read here. I’ll be back on Monday, Day 25 of our phone challenge.


  1. Tuesday evenings at our church we have a children's ministry. So Tuesdays are my day to media fast, and often food fast. I do answer calls and messages, but don't look at anything else. I love it!

  2. I would never go anywhere without my phone. I am always alone when I drive. Where I live there are no payphones any more. Also my car is very old. I have broken down on the side of the road several times throughout my life and only 1 time did anyone pull over to help me. That being said once my phone goes into my purse there it stays. I am not a check my phone person.


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