I know it might sound strange, but I’m writing to my iPhone right now and allowing you to read it.
On Saturday, I went camping with a bunch of people I really didn’t know very well.
The campsite was in Malibu, near the water, in the woods.
And you know what’s really cool and amazing? You didn’t work.
You didn’t work at all. No Siri. No Internet. No texting. No email. Nothing.
I didn’t need to check you. I didn’t need to touch you. I didn’t need to hold you, and I didn’t care at all what you thought.
I got to the campground around 12:30, looked at you for the last time, and you said, “No signal.” And I thought, I’m in.
I thought to myself, I’m time traveling back into the late 90s.
That was a time when I was fully free. Free from a cell phone. Free from anybody being able to contact me. Free from so many things.
So I dove right in, and I dove in strong and hard.
I ended up standing around and talking to some of the other parents on the camping trip.
We looked at each other and said, “It’s only 3 o’clock, what do we do?”
We didn’t have our phones to check. Perhaps we were going to have to be present. Talk to one another. Hang out. It’s like the good old days again, I thought.
I rallied around them. I didn’t think about you at all. As a matter of fact, I was so happy that you weren’t in my life for this day and I was actually ecstatic.
As the day went on, I started feeling better and better. Sure, you bring me texts from women that I’m flirting with, and I really enjoy that. But then again, those women aren’t really there, and they’re just words on a screen.
Sure, I could check emails, but you know, there used to be a day when we used to have voicemail messages. We used to have little pink slips of paper that read on top, “While you were out.” And when we were out of the office, we didn’t really know who called.
I went to bed that night without checking my phone. I didn’t read anything on the Internet. I didn’t text any girl I was interested in.
I didn’t have any flirtatious conversations. All I had were the people that were around me, and I was really enjoying it.
I woke up in the morning, and instead of going to my usual spot on the toilet and staring at you – yeah, I know, I’m bringing you into some of my most intimate moments – I basically didn’t do a thing. I went to the bathroom, as normal people do.
I played with my daughter. I talked to people. I ate breakfast. I communicated. I talked some more.
I didn’t miss you at all.
I didn’t even think about the texts that were coming in. I didn’t think about the women I was flirting with. I didn’t even think about work. I didn’t think about a thing. I didn’t have to. There was no stimulus going on in the outside world, except the people that were outside my tent, who wanted to go make breakfast, who wanted to talk, and wanted to connect. It was beautiful. It was amazing. It was life-changing, because I realized how much I love to do that. How much I love to just be seen, be heard, and talk.
When I went back to the car, I knew it was time. I knew it was time for you and me to connect again. The universe was on my side.
You see, my emails weren’t coming in. As a matter of fact, for some reason or another, I guess you we’re so used to being used non-stop that you didn’t know what to do. By not being touched and held and caressed for 24 whole hours, that you didn’t bring in my e-mail.
By the time I got to read my emails, it was late in the day, about 7 o’clock. I went two days, really, without connecting. Business was still there.
Some of the guys that work for me were a little upset because I didn’t give the thumbs up for something that we were doing, but we all survived. The women I was flirting with, the people I was interested in, they were still waiting. Their texts were waiting for me. Text conversations were ready to happen all over again.
But I learned something this past weekend. I learned that I can go back in time.
I didn’t need a DeLorean to do it.
All I needed was the great outdoors and a bunch of other people willing to participate in the great “lose your iPhone” experiment for the weekend.
I have a kid, so it’s kind of hard to do. It’s kind of hard to disconnect, unless I’m with her, which by the way, I do a lot of the time anyway. The next time I’m with her, I’m actually going to throw the phone down. Not even going to look at it. Her mom might be a little upset, but that’s okay, because we’ll still call the mom and still say goodnight, but I won’t be able to get text updates for no reason at all.
Welcome to the new world. It’s a beautiful world, actually. It’s a world of connecting. It’s a world of seeing each other. It’s a world of talking.
It’s the world we used to have all the time. And it’s a world that’s still there for the taking, so those of you who are daring enough to put down your love of your iPhone, daring enough to lose Siri for the weekend, break up with her, and daring enough to go back to the way things used to be.
It’s so powerful. It’s so strong, and it’s so beautiful to connect with people. I’m in. Next time I’m in, I probably won’t go camping though, because I really don’t understand the lure about the great outdoors. There’s really nothing more uncomfortable than an air mattress. But if the great outdoors is what took me to break away from the great iPhone, then thank you great outdoors for providing me a beautiful lesson this past weekend.
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