As I mentioned in my weekly highlights, David, Petrina and I enjoyed a Jack White concert on Sunday at Rogers Arena. What I didn’t tell you is that…Mr. White had a strict “no tolerance” policy on cell phones.
As a result, lines were quite long to get inside as each individual had to surrender their cell phone to security in order to have it placed into a tamper-proof bag. At the end of the evening you then had to find someone with the proper tool to remove your phone from the bag (fortunately this was not a problem for us as we left early).
At first, I found this very irritating. It felt infantilizing and intrusive. I also couldn’t help but think about people who may have kids at home with baby sitters, or sick parents, or a pregnant relative – I would have been so anxious!
I was frustrated because I had received a number of text messages as I was getting ready for the concert that I had yet to respond. We arrived early and it seemed like the perfect time to get things done, but alas, I had no access to my own device!
But I have to admit, I really think I enjoyed the concert more as a result. It almost felt like a step back in time. The venue wasn’t lit up by screens (at one point actual real lighters were lit), everyone felt more present, and I got to spend time with two of my favorite people in the world without being sidetracked with alerts. Instead of being distracted with responding to those texts, we were able to sit and enjoy a drink together, observe the crowd, and just get engaged with the evening.
The other weird thing is I didn’t find myself going to reach for it either. It was similar to when I left Facebook, I thought I would miss it, but once it was deleted from my phone I really never thought about it again. It was completely out of sight out of mind for me.
It ended up making me thing about taking more initiative in my own life to have phone free moments. And I will definitely be more willing to go with the flow if I am at any future events where I am forced to surrender my phone.
Have you set any boundaries with your phone? Any events or moments in your life where you have initiated a “phone free policy”? Is this something you would consider?