A lost art: Paying attention?

July 2015 Posted in People

By Brenna Wiegand

Heidi Walker took a drastic move two years ago – so much so that some of her friends think she’s crazy. Heidi went “hands free” –  no cell phone, smart phone; just an emergency TracFone.

It all started when she lost her swanky phone.

“My husband was looking into insurance plans, trying to replace it and I just kind of heard this inner voice that said ‘Let it go,’” Heidi said. “I was starting to notice that I was spending too much time on it; too much time with social media; too much time texting people rather than living life and paying attention to my kids and being in the moment with them and where they’re at.”

Though she can access Facebook, e-mail, etc., from her home computer, at first it felt like she was missing out on a lot. She said it’s also weird to stand in a line and “be the only person that’s not looking down … the only person actually taking in the environment around them.” What’s more, it was kind of lonely: People just aren’t as accustomed to picking up the phone these days.

With her head up, Heidi’s eyes were opened to just how prevalent this has become. It started to get to her seeing parents who were with their kids …but not really.

“The culture’s changed so much,” she said, “and as a Christian I believe it was the Father telling me ‘You need to let this go and experience life.’ So I did.”

About the third day Heidi felt a new freedom; “a release of almost the binding nature of the phone – like you’ve just got to have it with you and if you forget it when you leave the house, oh, no, and you go running back to get it.”

She’s been there. She got a ticket for it, in fact – something she’s now grateful for.

“I used to feel almost a compulsion like if the phone rings you’ve got to answer it – even if I was driving,” she said. “I see people doing it; you just endanger everyone around you.”

Heidi and her husband Che have three kids. Brynn, the oldest at 11, said she remembers her mom being on the phone “all the time.”

“…but not having one is inconvenient when we can’t find where we need to go because she doesn’t have a GPS or we can’t find someone we’re trying to meet because she can’t call them and find out where they are,” Brynn added.

Heidi agrees there are times when it’s inconvenient not having a phone but she knows that for her, now, this is the right course. Her sons Hudson, 4, and Asher, 5, don’t remember any different, though Asher has reservations about owning a cell.

“It can be a problem when you’re trying to hide and it rings,” he said.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.