Trying to Live True (Why I'm Giving Up My iPhone) - Sarah Mae
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Trying to Live True (Why I’m Giving Up My iPhone)


My kids were splashing and playing at the indoor pool at the rec center near my house.

I was sitting on a bench watching them, while also perusing through my iPhone, checking email, reading blogs, looking at Instagram, etc. And this thought kept surfacing, “What if someone recognizes me as the girl who wrote the unwired book, and here I am sitting on my iPhone while my kids play without me.”

I looked around.

When I went to the pool yesterday, I took a notebook and pen and convinced myself I’d use my time to write: I’d sketch out bits of life and notes and intersections on how I really want to live. I like making life-maps.

But I didn’t write, I got online, for pretty much the whole time. And there is nothing wrong with doing that, but for me, I felt…not true.

I knew I wasn’t just on my iPhone; I had to be on it. The pull was so great. And so I took my notebook and pen and I wrote a list of pros and cons for having an iPhone:


I can look up phone numbers (Internet)

I can get directions (Internet)

I can listen to podcasts/music/audiobooks wherever I am

I can use it in my house to play music/audiobooks over our Wi-Fi speaker

Voxer (I love this app)

Sharing life on Instagram


Constant pull to be online – check email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

Always on it, even while driving

The pros list is longer, but the cons list is heavier.

I made some calls to find out if there was some device that I could use to listen to podcasts, music, and audiobooks without having a phone or Internet attached. The kind lady at the Apple store told me about the iPod Nano, which would do what I wanted, but would cost $149. I then called the Verizon store because I’m up for a free new phone in two weeks. I told her what I was looking for and she said I could get a cell phone (not a smart phone = no Internet) but I could keep my iPhone and use it without a data plan. In other words, I could still use the iPhone for podcasts, music, and audiobooks and use the Wi-Fi function in my home (since we have Wi-Fi) to play those things over our Wi-Fi speakers, but not have Internet or phone when I left my house. Perfect.

Come July 11th, I will be Internet free while out and about.

I will miss Voxer (Logan, how will you ever do without my morning songs?).

I will miss the easy access to phone numbers and directions.

I will miss Instagram.

I will miss a lot of things, I’m sure. I might even kick myself. But I’ve got to be authentic, and I’ve got to be free.

Many of you will read this and think, “Girl, why are you so drastic? Just use a little self-control! For the love!”

I hear you, I do. But I know myself and my weaknesses, and I would just rather be drastic in this case.

So it is.

Here’s to living true.

Love, SM

Have Cell Phones Taken Over Our Lives? Must watch:

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  • Kelly

    Proud of you! Your consistentcy in striving for authenticity is inspiring. Thank you for always being real.

  • heather ristau

    girl. i’m proud of you! it’s frustrating at times for me to confess something i’m feeling convicted and challenged about only to have other people tell me i’m being dramatic and drastic. my mom would say when i was growing up- ‘others may, but you may not’. it’s still true. things that i struggle with might not be an issue for another person- but for the love of God (quite literally!) can we just support one another in our decisions, and not toss our own doubt and guilt into the mix? so.. all that being said- you go girl. you will probably feel a freedom that many of us crave- and will walk around taking in life with a clear heart and mind. let us know how it goes… viva la revolucion!

  • Celeste

    Good thinking. I have not gotten a smart phone yet. I have a phone that can text and make phone calls. I do have an iPad but it only has a wifi connection. Sometimes I bring it with me and if the place has wifi I can use it for Internet. Sometimes I bring it along for all my music for me and the kids in the car. I even figured out how to look up my map for driving somewhere and if I leave it up on they current screen, it is still accessible in the car even without wifi. A lot of times I leave it home. It really can work. It really does. I am not crazy about getting a smart phone. You have inspired me to keep sticking with what I have. Read half your e book last night. Love it. Thank you for writing it. If anyone has an idea how to time out some apps on my iPad I would love to know about it!

  • Alexis

    You are so me….. I really love you so much. Thank you for being so real. You reflect my life so much. I struggle so much with this and identify with everything you are saying. I am halfway through Desperate and am so grateful you wrote that book for me 🙂 UnWired is next. I may start it today anyways because I need to get back into my life. It’s getting ridiculous.

    Thank you thank you and GOD BLESS you for doing all this.

  • Christin

    I love you. That is all.

  • Katharine Barrett

    My phone will only do wifi in our home,(I bought one specifically because of that) and it is good, very good. There are times I wish I hadn’t, but the benefits far outweigh those times!

  • Krystle

    You can still Instagram! Just at home…on Wifi! 🙂

  • Kyle & Mendi O’Riley

    I just read a quote yesterday that said, “It is true: what or who you need will control you.” As you have so simply yet profoundly shared, we can justify anything, yet we know within ourselves what God is asking us to surrender.

    People think we as a family are drastic as well in how we choose to live but all-in-all, every decision we make in life should be made in light of eternity.

    Thank you for being deliberate in your walk with Christ.


  • alison_1

    I don’t have an iPhone. And let me tell you, I am terrible about being on my computer all the time at home, its something I am working on…. but I love that when I am out and about there is no option for interneting and I will not be one of those people always looking at their phones. so for me, its a good thing! I am sure it will be for you as well.

  • Patricia B.

    I desperately need to do this! Thank you, Sarah Mae!

  • Jenny

    I totally get it.
    I have a smartphone with just local wi-fi – no data plan; and I STILL find I’m on it much too often.
    I’m seriously thinking about going back to a stupid-phone (is that a word?? lol) As long as it texts, I should be happy. 🙂
    Best of luck on your journey.

  • Kim@onerebelheart

    Good for you! Thanks for being real with us. I only got an iPhone last year and already I wonder what I ever did without it. It’s a tool for us to use, and it must be kept in its place. It’s a conscious struggle for me, nearly every day.

  • Lindsay

    Once your iPhone is gone make sure you carry a good camera, you will definitely want it over the camera on a basic phone. Love reading your posts, it encourages me in what has been on my heart as well!!

  • J G

    Good for you! I don’t think you are drastic. I’m trying to figure out how control my time on my iphone. I’ve only had it for 4 weeks and I was addicted to it the first day! (Said the girl who didn’t even want an iPhone, but her husband got her one any way.) I actually left it at home, when we went over to a friend’s house for supper. I’ll be gone all day today, so I am going to need my phone, but I may leave it in the car most of the time.

  • Mary Bonner

    I left my phone at home two times in two days (by accident) and I loved it. I admire your honesty and the fact that you know your limits! Hugs & blessings~

  • Melissa

    When your children are older you will be so glad you “unwired”. I didn’t have a data plan when my kids were younger, in fact I just got a smartphone this year, but I had a PC that I wish I hadn’t spent so many hours on. Time so wasted! I can’t get that time back with my children, husband, family & friends 🙁

    • Elise Daly Parker

      Hear you Melissa!!

  • Tleshia Farrar

    That is exactly why I still have a flip phone, all my friends make fun of me, but it helps keep me “present” a lot of the time 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  • April Born

    I still have a ‘dumb’ phone and fight with Verizon every month about getting an iphone or a smart phone…I don’t want it…because I know, it’ll just be a problem! As it is, I have a kindle with wi-fi….and that’s bad enough. Sometimes I wonder what the world did without their phones and constant access to everything….oh, that’s right, they had to interact with people! 😉 Here’s to interacting with more people…the old fashioned way…face to face! You go girl! I just looked at your book (which I probably need more than I want to admit)…and I commend you for taking a step that society may shun you for. Thanks for being real…at least looking at yourself and doing your best…it’s helpful to those of us who are also trying to be the best we can for God and our family…whatever society may think! Appreciate your post!

  • Kami Crisanti

    We gave up our smart phones (to save money) – it’s been hard, but we have the cheapy flip prepaid phones ($30 month) and have a few hand me down electronics to use for camera, music, etc- like you said (at home use)-
    it’s so hard and takes longer to text…ha!
    BUT- such a great thing to do. We also gave up TV (just use netflix and dvd’s) to save money. Hopefully teaching the kids along the way too. Always inspired! 😉 Kami

  • christie elkins.

    I’m old school and have never owned an I-Phone. I even do a “cell phone friday” post on my blog to celebrate all of us that do not have access to Instagram (blurry cell phone pic takers unite!). You are awesome, Sarah Mae, inside and out. We are cheering you on this week with all of your honest and raw posts!

  • LyndsD

    Oh Sarah… You hit the nail on the head! I need to do something different as well. I can’t wait to dive into unwired and I can not tell you how much I love your honesty and transparentness. Inspiring doesn’t seem to do it justice! I want to be unwired and more present with my kiddos too. Blessings and thank you!

  • Carol

    Thank you so much for writing about this important topic and sharing how you are dealing with it! I have struggled for years, too ashamed to really admit how addicted I am to spending time online.

    Another friend just sent this link, with another reason to ditch the smart phone:

  • Crystal

    I don’t think that’s drastic at all (maybe because I’m not used to having internet on my phone already), sounds like a good balance for your family to still be able to do all those internet things at home, but not on the road–especially if it’s a temptation for you to be doing things while driving.

  • Shannon McKee

    Sarah Mae – I love the way you shared your heart and what God has called you to do without making a blanket legalism for all people. I’ve often enjoyed that about the way that you write. Because it allows the reader to calm down and listen to your heart (and be challenged by it where appropriate) without feeling defensive. I haven’t read the Unwired ebook yet but I look forward to it. Social media and the internet is a struggle for me. I think it is for many moms. Thanks again for sharing.

  • Lorena

    From one drastic girl to another – good for you!! I totally get the “all-or-nothing” approach, and it is why I still use my ancient flip-phone. But I like the no-data-plan idea. Innovative! So now …. do you have any resolutions about chocolate? 😉

  • melissa ferguson

    I did the same exact thing a year ago! (Partly because I was on it too much and partly because the $30 data plan seemed frivolous.) The Best Buy geeks looked at me like I was insane because I was grandfathered into the “unlimited” data plan. The sales guy told me he’d never had anyone downgrade and last more than three days. However, I find I rarely need all that stuff, and if I do I can pull into just about any parking lot and pick up a wi-fi signal to get those phone numbers/directions. (Or just call someone and have them look for me.) However, I am still on my iphone/turned ipod too much around the house. Thinking it might be time to ditch Facebook next.

  • Lindsey

    I love this…may have to look in to doing the same thing.

  • Ada Handley

    I told my husband just a few weeks ago that I was going to go non smart phone when our contract is up. I’m SICK of my iphone and the pull it has on me. It is good to surrender 🙂

  • Christina Marie Poulsen

    It’s so funny you posted this because my husband and I decided to give up our iPhones. We are in the process of getting non-data phones, and we plan to keep the iPhones to use as iPod touches 😉 I spend too much time on it, and also we want to pay down debt so we can pursue adoption…there are too many reasons to NOT have it!

  • Jennifer Sikora

    I honestly crave to do the same thing, but scared. I guess that means it has a major hold on me. I cannot downgrade for a whole year so I have to learn to manage my time better. I have an ipod nano so I am already on that route. You are such an inspiration to me Sarah Mae 🙂 I hope to one day meet you in person to hug you and tell you what an amazing lady of God you are — with your imperfections that you share with all of us. 🙂

  • Logan Wolfram

    How will I do without your morning songs?! I guess you’re just going to have to move next door! Proud if you! I’ve thought about doing this before too! Lots in fact! Love you friend!

  • April Spengler

    I did the same thing last year and turned off my cell phone. I thought it would be hard, but I don’t miss it. If I have to drive the kids into town, I borrow my husband’s cell phone. We are so connected to our electronics, it is nice to be one of the only without!

  • Elle

    Yes, Yes YES! I just did this in January! It hurts to start with, but soo worth it! The only thing I miss is having a decent camera with me all the time, and you really need to program some important phone numbers in your phone, like a tow truck!

  • Ashley

    That is great that you noticed this and are doing something to fix it. If this is what works to keep you connected to your family than go for it! It is possible to live without a smart phone. My husband and I have always gotten by with regular cell phones that we use to make calls on and that’s it. We’ve never had smart phones, data plans or even sent text messages. Our main reason was to save money but we just didn’t see the necessity of it either. Many people think this is behind the times or silly, but that’s fine with me. I do have a tablet with wi-fi that I love for all it’s great apps and features but since I can only use the wi-fi to connect to the internet I can’t be plugged in all the time and I like that I am not tempted to be because of that.

  • Jolanthe

    Our plan for data vs. not data is the same price, so my solution has been to remove the offending apps from my phone – no twitter, facebook, instagram, etc… I have an iPod that we use at home for everything else when we are connected to wifi, but it is nice to have the phone when we are traveling for work stuff. But otherwise, those apps are gone – especially when out and about. I do love that I can take pictures with it and not have to carry around my big camera for everything.

  • mommy to 5

    I have an iPhone, but struggle in the same areas at times. I had my son choose a passcode and restrict internet and Facebook. When I need it, I ask him to enter in the passcode, but he is able to put the restrictions back on when I finish the task I needed to do. I like that he sees that adults are never finished learning lessons in self-control, and that he is learning how to be an accountability partner. I admire your commitment. If I decide to take my self-discipline an extra step, I may try out the devises you mentioned!

  • Mommy of 6

    Dear Heavenly Father, bless mommies to make the tough decisions to change their lives. Thank You, God that You give us many chances. Please find us doing what You want us to do!! We love and trust You. In Jesus Name, Amen!

    Way to go! I feel the same conviction. Way to follow through!!

  • Jessica

    Funny….I flipped over to this post immediately after browsing ebay for an iPhone. Ha! I still have a “dumb phone” as I call it. I’m tempted to upgrade for the ease of having church/work emails accessible but I’ve also been scared to make the jump knowing the temptation. I hate how much time I waste online. You’re making me re-think! That’s good. 🙂

  • Jill Susanne

    We don’t have smart phones and are strongly resistant to the idea. We are constantly questioned by family/friends/coworkers as to why we don’t have them but we are happy without! Sometimes I think we are the only people who don’t care for them – seems as though everyone expects you to have them. People always say “just look it up on your phone” and we get funny reactions when we tell them we don’t have a smart phone. I hope we don’t succumb to the pressure because it is truly easier to live without something you have never had than to go back (not to mention the cost!). I feel if I get one I will constantly be on it! We don’t have cable and didn’t have internet for quite a long time. Once we got the internet, it was amazing how quickly it began to take up my time. I am thankful for your suggestion of the Stay Focusd app on google Chrome. I added it this week and put my husband’s and my biggest time waster sites on. We are actually not *too* bad with the internet but being a stay at home mom it is a big temptation for me! Definitely helping with accountability and keeping us free to play with our 20 month old! Thank you for this post and your book – very relevant to our lives and our family will be better for it 🙂

    • Jill Susanne

      Oh, and way to go Sarah! It’s good to see someone recognize the impact this has on their family/relationships and taking action. I hope it gives others the courage to do the same!

  • Mykiddos

    I don’t have a smart phone, just a regular phone for texting & calls. I do have an Ipad with wi-fi only & I am on it much more than I would like to. But as you say the pull that draws you to the internet for whatever reason is a strong one. It is almost time to renew our contract & my husband who has an iphone for his job tells me I can have his old one when he gets his new one, although it is tempting I don’t think it would be wise for me to get it. Having access to the internt all the time & not just at home will only have me even more glued to the devise & away from my kiddos & other responsibilities. I have really been feeling convicted about my time online (mostly social media). I have tossed around the idea of getting rid of FB & having a set time of imternet usage, but when you have easy access to the computer, ipad, itouch or whatever else people use to access the internet, it is very difficult. I am anxious to read your book. I am hoping it will help me get some balance of my time & limit my internet use.

  • Jenny

    Love this!

  • Kim

    Love that your doing this! Totally inspired!

  • Angi

    Praying for you!

  • Chris Malkemes

    Guess I will throw my hat in the ring too. Good job girl. There is FREEDOM is obeying. Now you can live in the moment – enjoy the present of the present moment – participate in the here and now. Go ahead! Dance like nobody’s watching. Take a moment, take a deep breath and look around you. By living in the present (not worrying about the future or regretting the past) the place you are in is sweeter, the grass is greener, flowers pop and that blue sky is just plain awesome.

  • Shari Lynne

    You Rock Sarah! It’s hard to disconnect for sure..I’ve started going for a walk without my phone… steps…LOL Blessings to you!

  • Kara

    I want to thank you for writing The UnWired Mom. We already has our phones only on WiFi, but no data. (Which can be annoying–sometimes we need to check our budget, which is on google docs) Just hearing about the StayFocus app for chrome has helped me a lot.

  • Robin Dance

    Well…you can still use voxer and send Logan love songs when you’re at home in the morning :). I have an iPhone that still has a German SIM card from when we lived there last year. Because my husband left his job at the end of November, we didn’t have the money to add service when we returned Stateside. BUT, I still use my phone when I have WIFI for instagram, voxer, etc. If you have your phone when you’re out and you’re in a place that has wifi, you can find directions if you’re lost if needed. I may/may not have learned that from experience :).

    Good for you for making an important heart-decisions :).

  • An Artful Mom

    Good for you–what a great decision. My kids are 19 and 22 now, and we got internet back in 1994 when it was a dirt road and my kids were little. (We paid by the minute to be online at first!) My firstborn was 4. I was drawn to that computer like a magnet, and I often think that if my kids were born today, would they get even a fraction of my time, given how strong the pull to be online is. Back then, with no smart phones, no Twitter, no blogs, and the higher cost of internet, I was reined in somewhat, but now—wow—if I was still a stay at home mom of little ones, isolated somewhat as stay at home moms feel sometimes, I think I’d have a real problem staying offline. I think you have found a great way to balance it.

  • Mary (

    My tracfone phone can get online, very slow and clumsy– my techie son calls it a ‘dumb’ phone, but it is such a hassle that I never use it, and that’s good for me. I just know I’d overuse the internet while out in the world if it were too easy.
    Mary, momma to 10

  • Grace Filled HS

    I convinced my husband it was cheaper to get rid of my cell phone and have just our house phone around a year ago. He still feels I should have one just in case I’m out and have an emergency. He has one because of being a pastor. I NEVER want to go back. I LOVE not having a cell phone!

  • Kristin Spencer

    So glad to hear someone with some sense in this world of technology!! We don’t, and won’t, have smartphones in our house. We had the option of getting them but refuse to be pulled into the insanity that is a smartphone. We have dear friends with whom we find much kindred spirit. However, the husband got a smartphone and it has greatly altered the way he spends his time. I’m so thankful that my little man only knows our “dumb” phones and barely knows them at all. Now if I can just quit checking your emails, then I think I’ll have this thing licked. 🙂

  • Steve Edwards

    Looking forward to the next post – with your success story !

  • aubrey carey

    Oh!! This is awesome!!
    just yesterday my mom and I were talking about how I got your book ( hoping to start reading it today;), and how the very notion spoke to me.
    I told my husband just last week that I thought I was addicted to my phone, and that every morning when I pray, my prayers for forgiveness and resisting temptation center around my phone or the internet somehow.
    I buy too much, too easily online, I spend tons pi f time looking at blogs, ever since I got the idea of homeschooling, ive spent more time on pinterest getting ideas, reading blogs, shopping for curriculum, “researching”..than I have actually teaching my kids!! I realized that yesterday morning, while running, and praying, and I was so ashamed!

    I want to be free from the constant pull to check email, text, look on a blog..
    I waste so much time!

    my husband argues that I need to just control myself, that we need our smartphone, since we live in a rural area, have no other phone and no internet access at our house. We use our phones, as our Wi-Fi hotspots, as it works better and is cheaper.
    I have wondered about being able to use my phone as a phone, camera, for games, music, without a data plan, but I wasn’t sure if that was possible or how it worked? We have Verizon too, but I have always been told I have to have a data plan? That the smartphone won’t work without it?
    I’m very curious as to exactly how this works?;)
    I too know my weaknesses, and need to just go cold Turkey;)

  • MomofFaith3

    I don’t think you are drastic, I know if you know your weekness, you have to do what you have to do..there is a STRONG pull, and it ends up taking ALL YOUR DAY or too much. ..I don’t have a fancy phone, can’t afford it, but I do waste time on fb.

  • Kim

    Wow. While driving? I’ve always had a bit of an internet addiction since I was a teen but when I think of the lives (including my own children’s) I could ruin by being on my phone while driving, that is enough to make me happy to leave it alone while I drive.

    I don’t understand how so many people find it impossible to leave the phone alone while behind the wheel or are constantly talking on the phone without hands free. I don’t appreciate others endangering my family.

    • sarah

      You don’t have to be mean to her Kim!!!… shes an amazing mom and is doing what many of us should do. Shame on you for treating her in such a way. She is a daughter of the King and maybe if you would come down from your self-righteous Pharisaical cloud for two minutes you would see that. Im a mom too and do not believe we should talk on phones while driving but we should be encouraging her and not bring out the tar and feathers. We have to stand together as moms who desire to raise whole strong healthy children…Lets give a big shout out and fist pump for all the mos that aspiring to do the same!!! Proud of you SarahMae!!

      • Kim

        Can we first agree that driving while texting/being online/etc is just as dangerous as drunk driving? Because that is exactly how I and others feel. Many have been killed because of this & that is why there is the “it can wait” campaign.
        Nobody sugar coats the dangers of drunk driving or how they are unappreciative of their families & friends (even strangers, as we are all human and should care about one another) being put in danger.
        So I don’t see why this should be sugar coated. Forgive me for not being anything but honest about the severity of it.
        I do not feel I was mean. I was honest without adding the sugar. And I’m nowhere near Pharisaical. I just happen to hold everyone to the same standard I hold myself to. I am actually harder on myself than I am on others when I do something wrong. If you noticed my entire comment was geared toward that standard that I hold MYSELF to. I said how the dangers of texting/etc behind the wheel kept ME happy to leave it alone at that time. I never slammed her – I simply said I was in disbelief of the behavior (from SO many people now days) & did not understand the willingness to risk such dangers. (If I had said anything ABOUT HER then I can understand your tar & feathers analogy. However, you’re just blindly rushing to bump out ANY bit of non-conformity when it comes to gushing over this blogger.)

        I think if she feels she can’t keep off of it behind the wheel, then it is great she’s giving it up & I absolutely support her in that.
        Next time, try reading exactly what is said before insinuating that I am being mean or Pharisaical.

        • Melissa Doddridge

          She confessed her sin, one to another (like the Bible says to). She has repented (changed directions). Let’s now lift her up in prayer. It’s brutal honesty like yours that may make people not want to ‘come clean’. Jesus was crucified so we don’t have to be. Chin up, Sarah Mae, your cheering section is way bigger! Big love from TX,
          Melissa D.

        • Sarah Mae

          Kim, you are right about being online/texting and driving. It is dangerous and unacceptable.

        • Lang

          The uncomfortable topics do need addressing, thank you for pointing out the elephant in the room Kim.
          Sarah Mae, thank you for taking ownership and acknowledging said elephant.

  • Tanya Pettitt

    I recently did exactly this! Another benefit, I cut my bill in half!

  • Kristin

    WAY TO GO!!! I’m with you! We’ve got an ancient cell phone that my husband and I share (gasp!). I was gifted an iPhone from my Uncle when he upgraded, but just use it as an iPod touch. I still find that I have to watch how much time I’m on it, but honestly, life is so peaceful without the constant pull of endless, often needless, distraction. I think my 2 year old appreciates it too. 🙂

  • Randi

    Love this! It’s so hard. I don’t have an iPhone and probably won’t until they are almost done with. But I fear not being on the up and up of technology because my children will be. I want to be a step ahead but that suck of the internet is hard.

  • Kate Harden

    Doing what you write. Walking what you talk. There is blessing in both 🙂

    Kate 🙂

  • Zohary Ross

    Good for you! I love that you are being true to your convictions. I have been thinking about doing the same thing and getting rid of my phone. It’s just become too distracting. But I keep my iphone because I really need the google maps for directions. I have been thinking about just deleting all social apps from my phone though including email so that it’s just for calls (and directions).

  • Michelle

    Good for you! I don’t even have a smart phone. Just the old school slide cell phone. I use my computer at home for internet/music should I wish. We recently moved to the country, where internet is so slow, that it is a hassle to get on. I love it! Slowly I am figuring out things to do other than be plugged in all.the.time!

  • Jamie

    Awesome, Sarah Mae, just awesome. You’re the real deal. May God bless your efforts richly.

  • Beverly

    This is why I do not have and do not WANT an iphone or even a smart phone. Everyone thinks I’m weird… but I don’t care!

    You can do it!

  • Megan

    I gave up my iphone 1 1/2 years ago and it was the best decision I had made. (Though I recently just upgraded to an iphone again for school purposes.)

    During that year I didn’t have an iphone, it was wonderful. I felt more connected to my kids while away from the house. It will take some getting used to though. I think it took me 2 weeks to get over not having one.

  • sabrina

    YESSSSS! Way to go Sarah Mae!!! I don’t think you will regret taking this step. Your life and children will benefit from it. I have a smartphone but purposely did not connect it to anything online. The only feature I currently have is texting. I’m not on facebook, twitter or any other social site because I find it takes up much of my precious time and especially the little time we have with our young children. I don’t regret it at all and neither will you. Blessings on you girl!

  • Bev

    I only carry an “emergency” phone with me and we pay $80 a year for it, adding more minutes if we need it for travel. I don’t understand access to a phone, and definitely the internet, when out doing things with the family or running errands. Yes, I could see the convenience of such, but we got by for so long without them and from everyone I see with them in the stores, playground, etc. – makes me not want to allow that in my life!

  • holliefriot

    Good for you, Sarah Mae! You can do it. I have never crossed over into the smartphone world for that exact reason. I know it would be too addicting for me. There are times when I really wish I had one – I had to run into a local library to look for an address on one of their computers as I hadn’t written it down and I REALLY wished I had one then – but overall, it’s really just another thing that takes us away from participating in the life in front of our eyes! Good luck and you know we’re here for you if you need encouragement!

  • Cathy

    I am so very proud of you for doing this. It’s the right thing!! Way to go!
    Blessings to you,

  • Elizabeth

    Cheers to you! It is glorious to follow God in the moment, and do uniquely what he asks of us, not try to figure out what that will mean in the future or think others need to do the exact same thing. I love how your heart came through on this in this post! I think this is such a beautiful and loving thing to do for your kids. I often think of how we need to think ahead to when our kids are teens and consider what kind of rules we hope to enforce then, and start loving them now. How else can we expect to have our words obeyed or our reasons behind them cary any weight? If we have phones out at mealtimes, let’s face it, our kids will do it even more and that family mealtime five years from now will be worse than watching TV while eating supper. At least with TV everyone is a little connected by watching the same thing. Not promoting TV dinners at all!

  • intentionallykatie

    Love this! By the way, I keep my data off b/c our plan stinks, but use my WiFi at home to get directions, then once I’m out and about the phone still tells me where to go. I get in trouble if I get off course b/c it won’t reroute me, but you don’t have to lose your mapping ability! Just make some adjustments by looking places up in your driveway. 🙂

  • Aprille

    I love this. We got rid of our iphones last year (for financial reasons) and I did the same thing – kept it for use when I’m connected to wifi. I still take it out with me simply because of the camera – and then instagram photos later when I have time. I love still having the access for certain apps, but love not having the strong pull to be on the phone all the time! Not looking back!

  • Olivia

    Sarah, I switched over to a “dumb phone” a few months ago to cut back on our phone expenses. I use my ipod for music, ebooks and internet when I’m near wi-fi. It was a hard adjustment, because like you, I loved the ease of looking up directions and phone numbers while out and about. There are definitely times I miss it, but overall it’s do-able. Enjoy the lower phone bill!

  • Andrea

    This is so great! I’m so encouraged to read about so many moms making these important decisions. Together we can model for our children REAL LIFE!!!! I don’t have a smart phone but can’t wait to read Sarah Mae’s book and I am certain it will help me think through and make huge improvements in how I use my computer.

    I don’t see that anyone has mentioned this yet. For all who are keeping their iPhones to use for non-phone functions, look up what your phone is worth on ebay!! For example, if you have a 4S, you could sell it for $250 and buy the latest model of ipod nano for about $100 and net $150! If you have an iphone 5 you can sell it for more like $600.

  • Claire Printz (LemonJellyCake)

    As the lady with the old flip phone that takes too long to even send a text . . . I can’t relate to giving up an iPhone, but I CAN tell you that I love not having one. 🙂 If I had a land line, I’d be sorely tempted to give up the cell phone altogether. My hubby has an iPhone for work and while it is occasionally useful when we’re out and about, mostly I just hate it because it means that work can follow him everywhere, all the time.

    You are not being too drastic, not at all. Enjoy your freedom! 🙂

    • Kristen

      I have a flip phone too, and I’m so glad. The pull of the internet is strong, and I don’t think I’d be able to resist it if it was with me all the time! I like that I’m disconnected from the net when I leave my house.

  • Lynn

    I am SOOO proud of you

  • Kristy

    What a great idea for you, Sarah Mae! Looking forward to reading your new book.

  • Daniella

    way to go! I hear you too….so many well-meaning people will say those words that you said…. “…for the love!”… BUT, tis true, YOU and God alone know you best, and if this is where He is leading you, then it has to be that! I went facebook-free for 2 years, and friends complained and pleaded for me to use it cause it was ‘easier’ and could share pics, etc., but I knew myself, and I just had to go without. It was the BEST 2 years, and my relationships became more authentic b/c I had to work at it, call, write emails and letters, etc. I’m in the process of reintroducing facebook into my life with bounderies set in place, but I still don’t know if I might miss my facebook-free life! ha. My point it, yes, way to go, sister! (ps. I also don’t have an iPhone, and sometimes I do covet one, but the Lord is gently reminding me that my children and the fleeting moments of ‘mundane’ are SO WORTH IT).

    Blessings to you and THANK YOU for the free ebook gift!!!! This is speaking to me and convicting me. oh, and I just finished Desperate. I will be returning to this wonderful book of encouragement over and over again. Thank you and Sally for LOVING on us moms and sharing your hearts and hurts and wisdom with us. xoxoxoxo

  • Lorelie Y

    Hey Sarah Mae, I don’t have an Iphone, and I use the internet with my morning coffee to do some devotions (kids aren’t allowed to interrupt:) and I also use it sometime while I eat lunch after some of the kids go for naps. I can’t imagine being online more than that. YOU CAN DO IT!!!! 😉

    • Elise Daly Parker

      Well I’m impressed Lorelle!

  • Cath

    You can do it! I’ve never owned a Smart Phone, and I’m so glad! I know I would be on it waaay too much. It’s awesome not having the temptation there when I’m out. It truly is freeing.

  • Lis

    As someone without a smartphone, I’m glad you will be a voice for those in the minority. 🙂

  • Rachel

    My next phone will be a “dumb” phone, because I don’t have the self-control to have a “smart” phone. It is to accessible and I am to weak. I will be REALLY sad to give up the awesome camera and the ease with which I can put pictures on my computer though.

    • Elise Daly Parker

      Maybe you will find another way like others here…

  • Rachel Larkin

    I think ‘smart’ phones are awesome! It has certainly cut down the amount of paper in my homeschooling house, that is for sure! I love it for keeping my calendars, sermon mp3’s, reminders and ringing my hubbie (who is working overseas) on skype every night. I have never had heaps of data available while out of the house so I guess I haven’t succumbed to its addictiveness.

    I did make a commitment when I first received my phone that while I am at my kids activities or in a social setting that I would keep it in my pocket and use the time to chat with other parents and watch my kids. I call it “enjoying the present moments” – I can always get on the internet when I get home.

  • Joyce

    Great stuff, Sarah Mae. It is a culture wide problem. My husband and I have observed this … and for that reason, we are not wired out and about. But, there is the same thing at home. It definitely requires discipline. Thanks for sharing and being real.

  • Beth Williams

    I don’t do a ton of that stuff. What the heck is instagram & Voxer? I believe in being there for the people I love, not always hooked up or wired up. There are times I just plain don’t want any noise.
    Congratulations on quitting and being there for your children. They will love you for it.

  • Sarahw

    I refuse t get a smart phone becUse at home i am always on the ipad, even when i clean! It zaps me in. In the park i just olay with the kids, i think its the only time to really be with them. At home im always busy or lookign things up. The internet is like a drug, access to information is so addictive :/

  • Jenn

    We’ve never had a smartphone or Internet on our cell phone and I don’t feel deprived at all! It’s so freeing! Good for you for following your convictions in this area!

  • Carissa

    A friend of mine just e-mailed me a link to your book. I am SO glad she did. I started my process of becoming unwired about a year ago by dropping my fancy smart phone for a flip phone. 😉 I gave a facebook for over a month, but felt like that was pretty much all or nothing behavior which also didn’t feel right to me. So instead I gave my fb pw to my husband because my self control is lost once I log in. He holds me accountable to 30 min a week and now that I have been doing it for a over a month sometimes I don’t even use up my full 30 min. On another note I felt as though I was writing the words to the post about your mother being an alcoholic (as mine was as well) and how your addiction to the internet was no different. It’s was also a numbing thing for me too. When life got rough or the kids got overwhelming I could tune it out online. We just had a series at church and the bible talks were all about being over connected. I keep finding reassurance everywhere that what I am doing and the unwired lifestyle I have been called to is defiantly right for me and my family. Anyways, thank you so much for writing and thank you for encourage others to unwire!!!

  • Drina

    Thank you so much for sharing! This was so refreshing for me personally.

  • Shelley Leadfoot Wilson

    Congratulations on making a very tough decision FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN!! Very rarely as parents, do we ever stop and think about ourselves. I am the mother of a 21 year old son, I spent the majority of those years as a single parent, however, as he entered his teens, I met my soul-mate and married. This man, too had a son, a year younger than mine, however his relationship with his ex-wife was never what one could actually call civilized, (unless things went her way). (Over the years it has BECOME QUITE EVIDENT THAT MY HUSBAND’S FORMER WIFE HAS NOT AND PROBABLY WILL NOT EVER LET GO OR GET OVER THE DEMISE OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP. Causing all kinds of untold drama in MY LIFE.)
    Now, that you have a little history – we have had a very strange year and my other son, has not been down to see us, since his mother showed up early one Sunday to pick him up to help her house shop. It took a long time before I realized that my husband has her as a “close friend” on Facebook – she has a DIRECT WINDOW INTO OUR WORLD!
    So, now I am in that “rock & hard spot” situation – ask the hubs to unfriend her or sacrifice my own cyber friends and life and “DISCONNECT” myself. I went with the former, initially. However, I read your article and think that I was wrong – he doesn’t need to make any changes – I DO. I AM THE ONE WHO HAS THE ISSUE WITH HER SEEING INTO MY WORLD, SO I WILL CLOSE MY DOOR!

  • Morgan

    If your finger offends you, cut it off. Or use any other virtuous violence (Matthew 11:12) that sets you free to rivet your soul on God. –John Piper
    Let’s choose to be free of the social media vacuum, so we can rivet our soul on God!

  • the thinker

    but wouldn’t truly “living true” mean following the advice in your book? that would be a short book on the unwired life if all you have to do is get rid of your phone.

  • Rebecca Christopher

    We just bought an old flip phone (a razr, like the one I had in college in 2008) … I’m having a baby in January and FULLY plan on using it if my smartphone use is taking up too much precious child-raising time. May God truly bless you for following His calling on your life and taking it seriously.

  • Lorine

    Thanks for the honesty! Everything has potential to become an idol and boundaries are helpful to keep that at bay. I use a browser extension that automatically blocks internet sites (e.g., facebook) if I go over a self-determined preset time. It’s been a very useful time activity tracker. Someone should make an iphone app with the same concept!

  • Shelly Roy

    Sarah Mae, I am SO proud of you! Yes, it will be difficult, but you will find new ways to do those things like directions…google maps anyone? I use it all the time at home before I go anywhere! AND you will be living your real life! Here is to being true!

  • Beth

    This is great! I got an iPhone for Christmas and it can be very addicting. I’ve had to set some boundaries. The phone is great but the time it can take away from you is not. Thanks for sharing your decision.

  • Jess

    Love this! We are on prepay, mostly for the cost savings, but we don’t have data plans either… sometimes i wish i had it, but your post reminds me of why i’m glad i don’t!! Thanks and Blessings on your attempt! Now I need to apply this post to internet usage at home! While i’m not out of control, its easy to spend more time than i want, so i’m working at limiting that and putting my family first!

  • Martha

    I think it’s great! I removed all online access from my phone last month — one of the best decisions I made. I don’t even have cable TV (removed that over 5 years ago), another great decision. All that “stuff” was cluttering my world. I’m excited for you!

  • Christine

    Today was the first time my 22 month old said, “no phone mommy” while I was looking at my iPhone while waiting in the car for the library to open. I got a sick feeling in my stomach. My almost 2 year old recognizes I spend way too much time on my phone…yuck. And then today I stumble across your post, God is definitely speaking to me. Thanks so much for being transparent and sharing your thoughts.

  • Jenna

    Applauding you and your decision. It is a hard thing…that pull from the internet. 🙂
    My weakness was FB. I was on wayyy too often. After reading chapter 8 I believe, from Desperate, I realized that for me, FB was that escape. It was my “go to place” when stress levels were rising. God is my “go to place” now and it has been a blessing for me to be off. 🙂

  • Darlene Taylor

    I once asked the Lord what was something in my life keeping me from Him. Right away I heard, “iPhone” and I was like, “No, you know, something practical.” I kept asking and He kept saying “iPhone”. That was about 3 years ago. I gave it up. I now have an iPhone again. It was hard when I first gave it up, especially when I got lost while driving!

  • Ellie

    I love that you shared this…I gave up my smart phone 2 years ago and went back to the most basic of cell phones – sometimes I miss my smart phone when I get lost out and about or am bored at the Dr. ‘s office, but overall, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

  • Janelle

    You go girl. I don’t have any devises that allow me to check internet, or even have a phone, outside of the home. And while this is frustrating at times, I know its for the best, because if I did, I’d be on it all of the time.


  • Andrea

    I really appreciate this post. I gave up Facebook and smart phone over a year ago because I felt convicted to unplug. I haven’t missed either and have only felt relief from the constant tug!

  • Rachel Valentine

    I wanted to let you know I featured this post as one of my “Friday Favorites” today. You can check it out at

  • Emily Wierenga

    proud of you friend. i’m heading out for a week of being offline, completely out of touch with the online world, and it both terrifies and excites me 🙂 bless you. e.

    • Elise Daly Parker

      May it be a time of great refreshing!!

  • Tiffany DeOs

    Proud of you!!! I’m afraid, however, to read the book because I know I’ll have to make some changes. LOL

  • Elise Daly Parker

    I think you’re brave and authentic and I appreciate you so very much. It is very hard to go against the pull of instant gratification that our iPhones offer. Honestly, I’m thankful all this wasn’t in full swing while I was raising my kids. Less choices to distract from what’s important and what’s right in front of me. My beloved kids. And they are now all grown…You can’t go back and you can start today. Bless you in this!

  • Sharon

    Brave and beautiful. I think it is awesome. When you look back in ten years you will not regret it.

  • Emily @OAAA

    This is inspiring! The apps I use most are Instagram and Google Maps. We typically live overseas and I don’t usually have internet on my phone. But while in the states it so easy to be wired to the world at every waking moment. We are moving back overseas in a couple weeks and I’m looking forward to disconnecting a little bit. But in reality, I know I’ll be running back to my connections online. ugh. I read your book… baby steps! Blessings!

  • The How-to Guru

    Good for you my dear, good for you. AND your kids. I hope your kids realize what an awesome Mom they have!


  • Theresa

    Sometimes I think drastic is what it takes to be real. Good job! I haven’t crossed over to the smart phone side yet. I am afraid for me that having so much accessible at all times would be too much. Between my dumb phone & no cable or tv I think most people think our family is living in the dark ages or that we may be un-American (I really did have the cable guy tell me that), but whateves there is something freeing in it. Good luck & I hope for no withdrawl period for you:).

  • Les

    I had to give up my blackberry about 6months ago due to budget restraints. It’s kinda yucky…many moments of frustration now where I’m lost and can’t look up directions. I’ve actually stopped at a variety store and bought a paper map! Or can’t call or text my hubby when we’re in the throes of kid pick-up/drop off, (delicate balancing act you know), or even just to see if I need to pick up milk before I come home. I miss texting the hubs during the day…I feel like now we hardly communicate from 8am to 6pm. But overall, I feel kinda good…I do pay more attention to my kids now I guess. It’s 6 of one, half a dozen of the other, really.

  • Lalybro

    Thank you so much for this post! I just deactivated my account on Facebook today hoping to be free of it for at least 2 months. I also just bought your book today after I told a friend last night that I might have an addition to the internet and specifically facebook. So, I’ve already started reading your book on my iphone through the kindle app. But darn it, that iphone draws me in and makes me want to check my email so maybe I just need a legit Kindle so I don’t check email too! Ahhh! 🙂

  • Amanda

    Just found your blog, feeling a little frustrated with being plugged in. I have really had to discipline myself, and when I do, my kids and I have much better days! It’s something new, but as some of your other responders note,and addiction is an addiction, this one is just a different disguise. I have just received my husband’s smart phone, and it’s way more than I need: give me a simple cell phone, I don’t need more. Keep on being authentic and encouraging others in this unwiring.

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