How My Smartphone Almost Destroyed My Honeymoon

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Just a few weeks ago I walked down the aisle as a happy, glowing, blushing bride. Mostly because my dress didn’t have pockets (shouldn’t this be mandatory?) and it’s not fitting to tote along a purse on my big day, I left my phone in the hotel room. I hate to admit this. I’m a cellphone junkie. I’m a strong, confident, capable woman – I’ve survived everything from surgeries to college courses, yet I go right into a frenzied fit as soon as I cross into a dreaded no-service zone.

As soon as the wedding festivities were over, I rushed upstairs to check on my precious cargo – did I have any new facebook notifications? Were people posting my wedding pictures on Instagram before I had a chance to see them myself? I must admit, it was a relief during the actual ceremony when I was forced to leave my phone in my room. For the first time since old-school desktop computers, I could actually be present in a situation – a milestone in my life that was unforgettable – phone or no phone to capture it all.

I call this the “honeymoon” period of my “no-phone” phase. It felt nice to be relieved of the need to document, text, post or comment on every little thing that happened on such an action-packed, thrilling night.

But then came the actual honeymoon…

My husband and I took a lovely cruise to the US Virgin Islands. It was a scene out of a travel magazine, day after day. The only other place I had seen palm trees was Disney World – so for me, this was a fantasy come true.

But it didn’t take long to realize something was missing. Service. The constant “no signal” sent me into a panic. How was I supposed to remember every moment? How could my dinner taste delicious if I couldn’t tag it as food porn on Instagram? How would my friends know all of the exciting and crazy experiences and places my husband and I were exploring together as newlyweds?

And then things took a turn for the worse…

Is my boss e-mailing me while I’m away? I know he knows I’m on my honeymoon, but what if there’s a pressing need and I can’t get to it? Is a friend texting me and wondering why I’m not responding? Are my parents okay?

And then the anxiety of things to come…

If I can’t at least check my e-mail now, I am going to have so much catch up when I get back! Why am I just sitting here on the beach when I could at least be chipping away at the workload ahead?

And before I knew it, my thoughts had spiraled into…

I can’t believe I’m sitting here under a tree in Aruba doing nothing, calling no one, with a perfectly good phone in my hand, a full battery and no service! What is the point?!

Then I took a deep breath and stopped myself. Was I really questioning the meaning and purpose of my honeymoon? My week of nothing but time with the man I had just vowed my life to? This week did have a purpose. I was building moments and memories with my husband – memories that no one else needed to know about but us. Moments to enhance the tapestry of memories we are creating together for our future.

I thought back to my wedding day. I remembered the people around me, dancing, shouting and eating to their heart’s content, all to honor my special day. I didn’t need pictures, texts or emails. I needed ME to be in those moments – not my phone.

When I locked up my phone that night, I unlocked my presence. I was the one creating and collecting these memories, not my mobile device. And my heart had infinite room for storage that night, and every night that came after.

I’ll admit, I’m not perfect. It’s second-nature to whip out my phone when I’m waiting in line at the grocery store, and I’ll still have an impulsive reaction to dig into my purse as soon as I hear that texting notification. But I try to remember who’s in control here – I’m the one responsible for making memories with my husband, with my friends, and with myself. I’m the one with the battery full of life, focus and 24-7 service. And that’s the best kind of carrier there is.

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Inspirational photos: Trendsoul, Kenza Zouiten

  • http://www.salocainwonderland.co.uk Sarah

    It scares me how often I seem to have my phone in my hand, how even in the dead of night the backlight is lighting up my face. From the minute I wake up to right before I drift off, I’m checking my phone. And I hate it. I hate that I do this. So I try not to, I put it in the bottom of my bag or in another room and like you, I feel fine…for a while, then I start getting all antsy and I find myself digging it out and scrolling through seeing what I might have missed.

    I’m going away next week for a week in the sun with my Mr and top of my list it to lock the damn phone away and try to go cold-phone-turkey!

    Sarah :)
    Saloca in Wonderland

  • http://thethingthatsings.blogspot.com Veronica

    Such a great post! Love your blog!

    Veronica // thethingthatsings.blogspot.com

  • http://www.lovealwaysjess.com Jessica

    Thats awesome that you realized this and didn’t have service on your honeymoon. People posting on their honeymoon 24/7 is one of my biggest pet peeves.

  • http://runningwhitehorses.blogspot.com Carina

    I love how honest you are about your reliance on technology! I’m crazy reliant on my phone too, even though i don’t work in social media whatsoever (i feel like that is one of the reasons why people are always glued to their phone!)
    As of late, I’m trying to live more in the present and less on my phone. Haha!
    Hopefully it works out well :)
    Your story is such a lovely inspiring reminder that we should always switch off to avoid missing the precious moments that are right in front of us!

    x Carina
    Running White Horses | A Travel + Fashion blog

  • http://wanderinginthewonderful.blogspot.com Wandering Wonderful

    From time to time I like to take a weekend vacation from all technology. Phones, computers, etc get shut off for a whole weekend. It really provides a chance to unwind, relax and reconnect to what is important in life.

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  • http://www.decoratorsvoice.com Nakeya

    Great post. You are absolutely correct. We are all so addicted to our devices. When I went on my last cruise, it was so hard to not want to check my social media following or to see if someone emailed me. As soon as we made it to a port, I quickly found the nearest Wifi area.. Yes.. what have we become???

  • http://married-and-naked.com/ Tammy Greene

    I love your honesty. I think we are all guilty of letting our phones run our lives sometimes. Good thing you recognized that before it was too late :)

  • http://www.viveylife.com celi

    While these devices come in handy, they can also keep us detached from the real world. I have to make a conscious effort to put the phone down and have a real conversation.

  • http://www.LynFleming.com Lyn Fleming

    It really is amazing how addicted we as a society have become. My husband and I ditched the smart phones almost 2 years ago and haven’t looked back. Dinners out are so much nicer, and to be honest, I’m a safer driver now. That’s not to say that we’ve done away with technology. I have my laptop and a tablet, and I’m online a lot, but it’s a lot better than a couple of years ago for sure.

  • http://oldworldnew.us Addie

    We are a generation of cell phone junkies! And they really can ruin meaningful moments. I’m glad you finally chilled out and let the lack of service anxiety go…. that’s a difficult thing to do lol!

  • http://www.mapleleopard.com valerie

    Great post, and yes I do remember life before cell phones and social media, I am 50 and made it through college with none of it! It certainly can ruin your life if you take it all too seriously, I try to keep a balance. I do love social media and my phone for engaging with others….I cant imagine life without it now.

  • http://Www.crazyshenqnifans.com Crazy shenanigans

    Exactly! Everyone needs to spend a little less time on their phones

  • Nichole

    I’m 37, have been married 15 years, & we have 4 kids. You are wise to recognize the “trap” that a phone can be and to train yourself now to put it away. live the moments and the memories. you’ll never regret it, i promise.

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