Midwest Minimalist Military Momma

Monday, September 2, 2013

Going "Hands Free"

This week I discovered author Rachel Macy Stafford's blog, “Hands Free Mama.” The timing was serendipitous.

Lately, I’ve been looking at my phone as a source of distraction. I have just about everything on that one device: Facebook, Twitter, texts, emails, Amazon, Netflix, weather, Words With Friends—dozens of opportunities to miss what’s going on right in from of me. I’ve felt compelled to check it for updates on a very regular basis. Sometimes, even during the night.

Connecting with family and friends through social media and technology are amazing innovations that can improve our lives. But, they can also invade our lives and impede the relationships.

A friend posted this to Facebook. It was perhaps the description more than quote itself that moved me. From there, I found her Facebook page and her blog. The Hands Free Revolution Stafford is advocating for is simple. It’s about embracing a lifestyle of less: fewer devices, fewer obligations. It’s about more: more family, more love, more connection. Essentially, it’s about minimalism.

The day before I first saw Stafford’s post and then learned of her body of work on unplugging, my not quite 2-year-old daughter came over to me in my chair and gently pushed down the phone in my face.  I don’t know that she wanted anything in particular. She had been quietly playing and she came over just as quietly and made this gesture. I put the phone down. I don't want to pick it back up. I want to put my smartphone down for good. 

Until this point, I’ve felt like the usefulness of my smartphone mitigated its possible downsides. I felt that I could monitor my use of it and control my time in front of it. I don't think I could do it. 

To be honest, it makes me very uncomfortable to give it up. I use it all the time. Many empty moments, I reach for it. I’ve decided that’s exactly why I have to let it go. I need empty moments. I need to sit in a waiting room and read a magazine. I need to talk to my daughter while waiting at the checkout line. I need to be wherever I am and not inside that little device. I need to be a hands free mama, too.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! I am so touched by your heartfelt and honest story. Those last few lines resonated deeply with me: "I need empty moments. I need to sit in a waiting room and read a magazine. I need to talk to my daughter while waiting at the checkout line. I need to be wherever I am and not inside that little device. I need to be a hands free mama, too."

    Your words and commitment inspire me greatly. I am thrilled to know you are walking beside me on this journey. THANK YOU!!!

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