I’ve been without a cell phone for over a week now. At first it was only a little inconvenient because I was in the Bahamas and hadn’t planned on using it much. It was irritating to be without my lightweight camera, but I had anticipated carrying my SLR most of the time anyway. I couldn’t share aspects of our trip on Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp as I would usually enjoy doing, but even that wasn’t such a stretch for me, being a lukewarm user of social media.

It wasn’t until we returned to Michigan a couple of days ago, that I truly felt like I was missing a limb without my phone. Driving to and from places my time often includes stealing moments to return phone calls, take care of business or just catch up with friends and family. It was also odd to be without text. Though I don’t use it to converse with others as some do, it is a quick form of communication on which I hadn’t quite realized my dependency.

But ultimately, it’s a feeling of being cut off. This little rectangular computer has so much weight in my life. And yet, here I sit without it – my only phone a landline, remembering that it was only 16 years ago that I even purchased my first cell phone.

And as one part of me feels the strange sensation of being isolated another part of me feels oddly liberated. For starters, my purse weighs quite a bit less, I don’t have to care if someone is trying to reach me and I cannot easily reach out to others. There is a true quiet that rarely happens because I probably only go about an hour or two at a time without checking my phone – calls, texts, emails, etc. And even if there is nothing to report on the hour, somehow the checking itself is a kind of external scan and orientation to all of that noise.

I know many of us talk about our dependency on technology and our various devices with concern. And to be fair, I’m hardly device free – I still have email and wi-fi and Facebook on a very portable laptop. Still, there’s an odd liberation in being more unplugged. I mean the clutter of people’s voices (though they’re mostly written and not spoken), thoughts and images running through our lives. We are so bombarded with messages that provoke reaction. I had thought that perhaps with more people meditating and subscribing to the notion that our inner world is as important as the outer, we are moving that way, but now I wonder if that’s actually possible in the society we’ve created.

Maybe we’ve become hyper sensitive to being wanted. In my teens and early 20’s without a mobile phone and no wi-fi or laptop, I was only connected to people via phone when I was home or at work or at a desktop computer. But there was no expectation of immediate response unless I decided to IM someone and that was a rarity. I didn’t wonder if people wanted to connect with me or if they had responded to my last phone call. I knew that eventually we would connect. Now if I haven’t heard back on a text, I wonder if the recipient is ok and why they haven’t responded because that is the expectation.

I also realize that the little smart phone device enables us to live a much faster, “smaller margins” life. We can do more on the fly and we can make plans on top of our plans because we are always connected and reachable. I feel slower without my device, having to go from one thing to the next as planned because I don’t have the luxury of changing things or multi-tasking or just filling up the spaces. At the same time I have felt crippled, realizing I forgot to communicate something to the babysitter or need to let my friend know I’m running late and finding myself without the means.

While I do revere the technology that enables me to have the patched together life that I have between business, art, philanthropy and mothering, I also see a cost. I would like to say that I will treat my phone as dead once a week once I’m back up and running, but I think I know better. The truth is I’m likely to fall back into my old ways quickly. But at the very least, I have this blip that may have made a difference. It may have impacted my cellular memory just enough to pull me more towards this true silence, slow down, leave more spaces empty and feel this Buddhist singing bowl like vibration that hums quietly through my without a cell phone being.