I went back to a flip phone recently.
Back in the early 2000s- it was easy to leave your cellphone at home when going outside to play, mainly because it didn't exist. I was a high school student in Eastern Tennessee, and we had an amazing winter one season. The local waterfalls had become giant cliffs of ice with several weeks of below freezing temps, and my friends and I naturally had to go exploring.
Grab a pal, your Nalgene, and throw on some wool socks with your Chacos (or use your better sense and bust out the hiking boots). No phone necessary. If I was feeling artsy, I'd grab the 4mp Nikon to snap some photo memories and call it a day. It never crossed our minds to "Check-in" once arriving at the waterfall or update our stories (other than the ones later at night when penciling in our journals).
It's true what they say about the older you get, the quicker time seems to fly by. Especially once you have children. I feel like I have woken up from a zombie dream after retreating back to a cave-age flip phone. It was a shock the first month. I found myself constantly reaching for it in attempt to scroll through countless images of people I haven't seen in years or have never even met. It's kind of mad, really.
I took my daughter on a hike recently and didn't even think twice about bringing the phone. I did remember to grab the Nikon and let her practice taking photos of a frozen waterfall with it.
It felt as though the sense of urgency to be digitally in-tune had vanished. It was relaxing, refreshing, and wholesome. I didn't accidentally read emails from work or feel inclined to text anyone back when that little beep zings off.
We were just there, on the trail, with each other- and Dobby.
It reminded me of why I like to chase waterfalls in the first place- to be present.
My daughter has started asking to take pictures with the camera rather than grabbing for the phone. Talk about a wake-up call.