Esther Emery’s decision to give up her cell phone and internet connection for an entire year started completely on a whim. After an offhand comment to a cell phone company representative, she decided it was exactly what she needed to do.
“This is my favorite story, because it was completely not my intention and completely unexpected.”
However in the process of that year, her off hand decision became a path of healing and growing closer to God.
“I discovered Him, and my childhood understanding of Him that I had kind of pushed below the surface. And it really was an unexpected and tremendous transformation.”
At the beginning of Esther’s year of disconnection, her relationship with her husband was in a really tough place. She explains how this journey brought them closer.
“When I first told my husband, he has a somewhat cynical sense of humor just like mine, he said, ‘OK so you’re trying to go back to 1983!’ But we found ourselves on the couch every single evening. Having quality time together. And I think that it was those moments of silence as a couple – making dinner together, washing up together. Not being distracted by tremendous amounts of entertainment, or the distractions of the trauma of the world.”
“Before, those conversations could somehow get into what had happened to us, and it would be hard to avoid the trap of blame, guilt or accusations. We’d end up causing more pain. But the ability to be silent and present with that other person and listen while paying attention with no distractions really helped to to regain trust.”
Esther Emery is a former theater director and playwright from Southern California. She chronicles her year of disconnection from the internet and her cellphone in her book What Falls from the Sky: How I Disconnected from the Internet and Reconnected with the God Who Made the Clouds.