‘Today I took your phones away, to offer you a gift my dear ones… the gift of freedom.’

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“Today I took your phones away.

It wasn’t a punishment, although I’m pretty sure you don’t believe that right now.

You did nothing wrong, you were moving through your day just fine… and yet I know the allure of that little glowing screen when it is nearby. And for the love, it always seems to be nearby.

So today I took your phones away, to offer you a gift my dear ones… the gift of freedom.

I want you to move through your day with your head held high. With your hands-free. And with your heart open.

I want you to look all the people in their eyes.

I want you to notice the sun.

I want you to get bored and then find something to do that you would never have thought of even if you had watched a million YouTube videos.

I want you to be free from the beeps that distract you from large open times where your mind can wander, or you can have long conversations with actual humans or where you can get lost in a book or in looking at the sky.

I want to take you away from the temptations of sneaking a peek Instagram and Facebook and Snapchat which offer you windows into the lives everyone else is leading and where you might accidentally compare what you see there in the carefully curated feeds against the reality of your own world. 

I want you to know what it is like to live free… moving through your day not having to worry about what you are missing, about where your phone is, about what is happening in Fortnite.

I want you to live your best true life. Unshackled from all that is vying for your attention in that small but mighty device sitting on the table next to you.

So today, I took your phones away. It’s not forever. It’s just for this moment. To remind you what life is like when lived with your hands-free and your heart open.

I believe this can only be done when your phone is tucked away, out of sight. It has to be far away from your body, so no pieces of your mind are tethered to it.

And my dear children may today teach you what you will find when you put your phone down all on your own. May you learn what a gift this is and that you can give it to yourself anytime. You do not need your phone to fill your time… your brain can live so free.

May you someday be the one at the table asking everyone to put away their phones. The one who leads the pack in conversation. The one that isn’t always staring at the screen instead of at the ones they are with. The one that knows what a gift it is to give those around you their full attention. 

Today I took away your phone, and more importantly, I put away mine. Because it’s a gift I give myself too. The gift of really seeing you.”

Amy Betters-Midtvedt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt. The article originally appeared here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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