Living Off the Grid: 5 Surprising Benefits

By Jenny Fukumoto

I lost my iPhone for the first time last weekend. I don’t expect that to come as a shock, since many millennials I know are currently on phone No. 3…or No. 30.

I was “disconnected” for five and a half days. I resorted to involuntary seclusion, as I didn’t want to miss a possible email or tweet from the hotel I left my phone at. I even considered skipping my weekly trek to Jewel Osco, but finally got tired of eating leftovers.

So for five and a half days there was a monkey wrench thrown into my smart phone-infused life. But as I reflect, I realize there were 5 surprising benefits of living “off the grid”:

1. I did not check my work email during non-work hours. And it felt sooooo good!

2. I lived in the moment. While waiting for the bus, I didn’t check my email or text someone back. I instead waited and really looked at my surroundings. I might even go so far as to write I smelled the roses — and the other various scents of Chicago.

3. There was no need to tell people where I was or what I was doing. Without Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter, I didn’t have the impulse to check-in, or share information about my day.

4. I paid more attention to my boyfriend. On our date night, I didn’t have the phone on the table; I didn’t need to text or call anyone back.

5. I had one less battery to worry about charging. How many times have you forgotten to charge your phone, only to have it die when you’re out and about?

Though it was a very humbling experience, I will not be sad if I never have to go through disconnection again!

Can you add to my list? Let us know!

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