Tag Archives: minecraft

Life Without a Phone

iphoneI know this is going to shock you… I have been without my iPhone for two weeks. It finally died during Christmas break. I have a replacement phone on the way, but it is back-ordered. I’ve learned a few things about how a smartphone impacts our daily life.


Created at PicLit.com

First, life goes on. Honestly. in some ways, it has been good not to have my phone… or maybe I should say apps. Some readers may have noticed that I have not been as active on Twitter lately. Especially with sharing my typography photos I make with Typic. Which I also share those photos on iTagged and Instagram. I do miss taking photos and not just for the creative things I do with them.

I could not take a photo of any of my children during the break. No smiling faces as they opened presents. No fun shots as the family let our new guinea pig, Kota, play in the living room.  Even worse, no chance to share those photos with Grandma and grandpa in Wyoming. I also couldn’t send text messages to other friends and family just to say hello. Let alone communicate with my wife to handle our busy everyday life. Who’s picking up who? Can I stop and get milk?

But life goes on.

I am more connected with the people around me. I’m not checking my Twitter notifications while my daughters take a bath.  I’m playing or talking to them as they make bubble beards. I am getting projects completed in half the time at work. I notice how people are feeling through their eyes. And honestly, right now, I feel more relaxed.  I feel free, not connected to my phone.

This feeling is interesting because when my phone first died I was stressed. I couldn’t check in on one of my favorite games, Puzzle and Dragons. Puzzle and Dragons uses a simple psychology reinforcement of tracking how many days you have played total and how many days in a row. Before my phone died, I had played for over 600 days. My streak was 496 days. Now, I don’t spend hours a day playing Puzzle and Dragons. But as you can see, I was connected to it.I won’t even discuss how many worlds I have lost in Minecraft Pocket EditionTheTop




I can’t calculate  how much time I spent with Twitter alone. Add all the time I listen to my music, checking Flipboard, researching new apps and just texting friends, and you can see that I was connected to the phone.

There are a number of studies about our addictive behavior with technology, this is a true concern for our development as people and a culture. These last two weeks have been an interesting case study of how connected my life is to my phone. Without my phone I am more connected with the people around me.  I’m more connected to what is going on in my life right now. But without my phone my connections with people and interest is affected. Connecting with my family in other states, friends and colleagues on Twitter, and even communicating with my family to make our daily life run smoothly has been lost.  I miss taking photos and playing Puzzle and Dragons. I miss creating typography pictures.

I learned I can live without a smartphone and when I get my replacement to make sure I disconnect from the phone to connect with the people around me. The past two weeks have reinforced that technology should enhance our lives, not control them.

But the most interesting thing I learned is that I don’t want to live without a smartphone. And that idea is for another post, I think the mailman has just pulled up…


Filed under Family, Life, Technology

Rock Bottom


The picture above is from the game, Minecraft Pocket Edition. What you see is bedrock. The site Minecraft Info describes the block this way, “Bedrock can not be picked up or placed by the player. It marks the edges of the map and is an invincible block designed to prevent the player from falling out of the world.” It means I hit rock bottom.

We Need a Rock Bottom

I like the last part of Mincraft Info’s description, “designed to prevent the player from falling out of the world.” In real life rock bottom is a hard place to be. Getting there feels like you are spinning out of control, falling through life, and getting hit with bad luck along the way. But, unlike Mincraft, rock bottom is hard to recognize in our everyday life. Unless we have a drastic fall (which does happen), one day we are sitting in the car wondering how life got so bad.   And we start to change, but that is for another blog post. This is about rock bottom.

We tolerate a lot in our lives, from going to a job we hate to participating in habits that destroy relationships and even our own life. Even with all the inspirational material around us, we can continue to be unhappy, stressed; or whatever adjective that comes to mind to describe living life below our potential. That’s what rock bottom does, it tells us it is time to climb our way back.

Life is not Minecraft

In the game it is easy to know when you can’t go any lower. The only options are to mine at that level, or start moving up. But life is actually simpler. At anytime we can start making progress back to the top. We do not have to hit rock bottom to make a change. To be honest, we know what rock bottom would look like anyway. So, why continue on that path?

Many of you have seen the Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Speech. In the speech Steve Jobs has some advice on not letting life hit rock bottom.

Asking the question, Would I want to do what I’m doing today? and being honest about the answer gives us real life bedrock. Whether it is a job, a relationship, or a habit, the question and answer let’s us know where we are in this world. The sad reality, as stated before, is that we will live with a NO answer for a long time. But we do not have to.

Hitting rock bottom, or seeing that what we are doing will lead to rock bottom is a powerful moment for us. It is not easy, it is painful, but it can lead us to the life we always wanted to live.

TheTopWe have All been There

Through the pain, the confusion and frustration, let the rock bottom be the start of a great chapter in your life.  Life may not be Minecraft but both of them are meant to be explored. See you at the top.


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Filed under Family, Life