When cell phones first came out. I was on it. Okay, maybe not when they first came out because that was in the early 80s and I wasn’t even old enough to hold a phone. I guess I should say when I was first able to get a cell phone.
For me, it around when I was about 17 years old. At the time, the Skypager and Nokia cell phones were huge. I was a working teen who wanted to flex on people so I had both. A red sky pager and a Nokia phone with a Juvenile song downloaded as the ringtone. I was the only one of the people I hung out with who had a phone, so you couldn’t tell me anything!
At that time, the charges were per minute so you wouldn’t find me talking on the phone for hours. But I was easy to get in touch with and could make a call when in distress. It was all about them being on my hip for all of the world to see. Trying to show that I was “the Joneses”, they were trying to keep up with me!
Family and friends would send 911 page. Which is supposed to mean emergency. I would call back instantly. Just to hear them ask, “Whatcha’ doing?”
“Minding my business and saving my minutes”
is what I wanted to say. But I refrained from using that comment. They would talk (mostly about nothing) and I would listen. Let’s not forget…I was being charged per minute and that’s was all I could focus on. Do you think the callers cared about that? Heck no, they wanted to talk and that was it. After all, it wasn’t their bill. It was mine.
Little did I know; that was the beginning of my distaste for the cell phone.
As years went by, I continued to upgrade and change my phone as technology progressed. And so did peoples’ need to know what I was doing every second of the day. I would spend a lot of my day answering calls from people who wanted to talk for hours about what was going on in their life. From relationship problems to financial issues, family fights and everything in between. With no need to ask how I was doing or whether or not I even cared to listen to it. Then after they dumped all of their issues on me, I found myself doing things to distress from their problems like drinking a glass of wine or hitting the treadmill.
At the time, I was working at a bank where I spent 8 hours a day on the phone listening to customers bitch about their credit card accounts. This certainly didn’t help. As a matter of fact, I’m quite sure it contributed to my hatred for talking on the phone.
Then, it progressed to text messaging. When I would let a call go to voicemail. I would immediately receive a text from the person saying they were trying to contact me. (As if I didn’t already know that). I didn’t answer because I was busy. Hello. Does this sound familiar to you, too?
As time went on, I found myself answering my phone less and less. As well as, answering text messages when and if I wanted to. Me not being as available to people as before, seemed to cause problems. I’d be asked, “why didn’t you answer the phone?” and “I texted you, did you get it?” I’d rack my brain to try to come up with an acceptable reason to give them.
It got to the point that people would get mad at me for not being available for them when they needed me. Not because they wanted to check on me. But because they needed someone to talk to about their problems or someone to waste time with while they were sitting in traffic.
My breaking point with the cell phone didn’t come from one particular incident. It was one incident piled on top of the other. Before I started making changes to my phone activity. I decided to analyze my actions. You know…to see if I was tripping?!
Was I wrong for not letting everyone in on what I was doing every second of the day? Do I really have to lend my ear to listen to peoples’ problems for hours a day, only to leave me having to distress and find time to do things that I’d wanted to do for myself? Is it not okay to do me sometimes and not do everyone else?
I came to the conclusion that there wasn’t a damn thing wrong with not wanting to be tied to the phone. These days, I rarely make phone calls. I only answer the phone and/or text when I’m completely available to lend an ear and it’s not keeping me from the doing the things that I want or need to do. Even if that means that I’m just watching a movie on Netflix. No, I can’t put my movie on pause to listen to your rant. Being a creative stated of mind to sew create designs is a whole mood. Some people just don’t get that answering their calls in the middle of my creative process just messes up every thing. I will call you after I’m done. If that doesn’t fit for the person calling. Then so be it.
On the other hand, I give the person that I’m reaching out to the same respect. I don’t blow up anyones phone. I don’t expect them to give me a reason why they didn’t answer my call or text (unless it’s my fiancé). I certainly don’t call anyone to tell them all of my problems. I mean who wants to hear that all of the time? I certainly don’t. It’s draining and I don’t like putting bad energy off on other people. Unfortunately, most people don’t feel the same way.
This is one of the reasons why I’ve implemented my 5 minute gripe rule. I will give you 5 minutes to complain and gripe about whatever they want. If they aren’t talking about solutions on how to fix the problem after that time, then I will find a way to politely get out of the conversation. To nag about a problem without looking for resolutions is a complete waste of time (in my opinion). We all have problems. Waste your time focusing on complaining not mine.
Admittingly, my “phone rules” has lead to receiving less and less calls and/or texts. My friend contact list has dropped dramatically. And I’m probably the last person my family calls when there is an emergency. With the exception of the few people who now how I am. But I’m completely fine with it. It gives me more time to focus on things that I find important. Growing my business, my family, and my damn peace of mind!
I do still love my phone and you will catch me getting an upgrade whenever I can. But it certainly isn’t so that I can be on everyones beck and call. I mean, I still have to be able to google answers to weird questions that pop up in my head. I can’t live with my Maps app since I’m always in the car looking for new places to go. And who doesn’t love a good social media scroll every now and then?
Other than that…leave a message, send a text or email and I will get to it when I get to it. I’m doing me! And there’s nothing wrong with it. Am I the only one who has had to set up some phone boundaries? Do you see anything wrong with me?? Let me know in the comments…
Stay Fearless 💋