One night, a couple of years ago, my phone was stolen during a night out with my friends. Trying in vain to track its location the following day, I was overwhelmed with a feeling that a piece of me was missing. I felt restless, anxious, and unsettled. At the time, I believed that the loss of my phone was the problem. In fact, it was the phone itself, and my relationship with it, that was making me feel incomplete.
Our phones have drastically altered the way we experience life. They successfully draw us in with a world of endless information, convenience, and connection. We have grown so attached to and dependent on these devices that they are never beyond arm’s reach—whether we are in bed, in the washroom, on a date, driving, or having dinner with family or friends, our phones are right there with us.
Designed to be difficult to put down, our phones and the apps on them constantly command our time and attention. They disrupt our sleep, invade our conversations, and distract us from meaningful experiences. Any blank spaces in our days—the free and quiet moments we have—are lost to a glowing screen. And when we are without these devices, we feel anxious, restless, and completely incapable of managing on our own.
It is clear that this relationship is not healthy. But for most of us, the ability to message and call is too valuable to let go of. And try though we might, it is an unending battle trying to distance ourselves from devices that are expertly engineered to keep us attached to them.
In 2013, Michał Kiciński founded a tech company in Warsaw, Poland, called Mudita to address this exact problem. This company’s goal is to “help people build a more balanced and healthier relationship with technology.” Their phone—the Mudita Pure—is a minimalist phone developed and produced in the EU that offers only the essential functions: the ability to call and text, global coverage, a music player, meditation timer, and an eye-friendly E Ink display. No social media, no Internet browser, and no distractions. The phone features a patented antenna to minimize the exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic radiation, and helps us set a healthy boundary with our technology so that we can focus on what is important: our wellbeing.
The deep connections, meaningful moments, and life-changing experiences that make life wonderful are not happening on our screens. If we don’t start rebuilding our relationship with technology, we will miss out on everything that is truly worth our attention.
This article was made in collaboration with Mudita