What happens when you stop texting for 30 days?

Don’t text and drive. Don’t text in the presence of company. Don’t text at the dinner table. How about, don’t text at all? Sounds crazy, right?

Well, for the next 30 days I’m about to find out just how crazy it is.

As someone who works from home, I spend a lot of time bouncing between my computer and phone and quite honestly there are days when I question my career choices simply because I get sick of staring at a screen.

So finally, I decided to do something about it. I can’t imagine not writing and editing or planning wellness events so a job change is not in the cards. Unfortunately, I need social media and email to run my businesses so doing a Facebook detox or turning off my phone are also not options.

Beyond work, I started thinking about how almost all of my relationships are virtual. Sure, I see my favorite Moms during drop-off and pick-up at my daughter’s school and now and then I’ll have an evening where I do marathon phone chats to catch up with my friends scattered around the country. But mostly, I keep in touch by the click and tap of computers keys and text messages. I want more depth than what emojis convey.

Goodbye, text messages. (Pixabay)


Everyone says texting is convenient but after a quick round of research, I’m not so sure I agree. Each month, I send and receive roughly 1,500 text messages, which is just about average based on adult statistics.

The one study that left me wide-eyed was one done last year at Baylor University where 164 college students were polled about their phone usage. What aspect of the device garnered the most attention? Texting. How much time? 94.6 minutes per day! An hour and a half! That’s 11 hours per week! 44 hours a month! Typically math bores the heck out of me, but these numbers certainly grabbed me.

Do you know how much writing I can get done in 44 hours or how many face-to-face, meaningful coffee dates I can schedule with this new-found time?

Hello, face-to-face conversations (Pixabay)

Hello, face-to-face conversations (Pixabay)

Certainly as a single parent, the idea of more time excites me now, but I know kicking this habit will not be without challenges. And how will people respond if I call to just say “hello” or “hope you have great day?” There’s a chance this whole thing could backfire and instead of strengthening friendships I may be creating distance. But like all new things, we never know until we step out of our comfort zone and try.

Today, May 1, my text detox begins.

Erinne Magee

About Erinne Magee

Erinne is a Maine-based writer and freelance editor specializing in first person essays, poetry and picture books. Her work has appeared in publications like: The Washington Post, Redbook, Yahoo News, The Huffington Post, Good Housekeeping and The Toronto Sun. For more, visit: www.erinnemagee.com