This guy must have an exciting life.
This is what you might be ironizing, after reading the title of this post, isn’t it ? How could possibly someone have his life changed just by the mere fact of taking off his phone case ? Well, you might be surprised of what deep concepts this simple act underlies.
I’ve always been a smartphone nerd, and a sucker for the last trending iteration of constructors, be it iPhones or Androids. My latest purchase is an iPhone 6 Plus, and since I bought it new, I’ve also purchased a case for protection purpose. I’m very conscious about the material stuff I own. Not to say that I’m materialist, but I do give importance to the physical immaculateness of my devices. I like when they’re neat, clean and scratch-free.
When acquiring my brand new smartphone, it was obvious I would immediately protect it with a case. The thing with the iPhone 6 plus is that it’s already a huge phone (despite the fact that I have quite big hands), and it’s even bulkier when you add a case. Whatever, I’d rather put up with the bulk than letting my precious get a scratch.
But after a year, I grew tired of my case. Was it due to the release of the newer model, I don’t know, but I was tired of putting up with the bulk, I wanted a slimmer, easier-in-hand phone. But at the same time, I was happy with my phone (aside the size), and I didn’t want a new one especially. I was torn. On one side, I wanted to get rid of that case, and on the other, I definitely didn’t want to expose my phone to scratches. I wanted to keep it immaculate, mostly because I wanted to get as much money as possible when I’d be selling it later.
And the phone I have is notoriously slippery, so I really didn’t want to break it by dropping it accidentally. It would be like throwing away $700 in the sewers.
Having a phone case makes sense: it protects your phones and prevents breaking it most of the time, and it allows you to resell your phone later at the best price possible.
So what did I do ? I decided took off my case. So far, I haven’t regretted it, and probably never will. Not because I haven’t dropped it yet and think I won’t (it could happen any day), but because it opened my eyes.
More than just getting rid of a commodity, it’s the mindset behind the act that is important. Disposing of the iPhone case was me saying to myself “I don’t fear what can happen to my phone if it remains unprotected. I don’t fret over the possibility of breaking it.” I didn’t want to subconsciously keep thinking “I might be letting it fall, break and become unusable, thus wasting $700 important dollars.”
This would be being in a scarcity mindset, which, in any situation and whatever you do, hinders your creativity, your resourcefulness and just prevents you from being happy in general.
Getting rid of my phone case have helped me keeping this scarcity mindset at bay. It might seem counterintuitive, but like many things in life, the best thing you got to do is precisely the opposite of what you naturally tend to do. Your mind keeps nagging you “come on, you have to do this or that, because if you don’t, you’ll be in trouble.”
Accepting that bad things can happen and be willing to face it lead to two benefits:
- You’re no more subconsciously fearing the mere possibility of an upsetting event
- It tells your subconscious that you are ready to deal with any potential consequence. This in turns forces you to be resourceful.
Having a phone case was being over cautions and embracing a “just in case” / “preparation” mentality that’s detrimental to our ability to be resourceful. Again, this is a matter of subconsciousness. We’re telling our subconscious “I might be out of resources at some point. It’s probable that I will be in a state of neediness later on. I might as well do everything possible to keep things in the state they are in now.”
It makes us think of problems that we don’t have. Not only it worries us for no rational reason, but it inevitably pushes you toward them. The thought is extremely powerful, as what your direct your thoughts consistently at, it becomes.
It also prevents you from fully enjoying what you have at the moment. You need to stop fretting over potential disasters to be able to enjoy what you have. It’s really all about living in the now, and instead of thinking and worrying about “what if it slips, falls and breaks”, you’re saying “heck, I don’t care, let me just enjoy my phone.”
Well, this part might be more subject to discussion, but it’s something I definitely abide by: respect the work of designers.
Sure, it depends on your phone, but if you want to put a case on it, it means that its value is high enough for you to want to protect it and prevent breaking from falling. This means the phone is an expensive item, which hopefully equates to it having a sleek design. Why then in the world would you put a cover on it ? Great designers have worked countless hours to come up with a beautiful design and you want to put a boring, bulk-adding grey cheap plastic or rubber case on it? Come on. In 99% of the times, a cover disfigures the original look of a phone. Of course it’s subject to taste, but you don’t see fashion models getting prettier by adding layers of clothing.
You might think it’s nothing but I think it’s just plain respect to the designer’s work, and also a respect to your money. Nowadays. it’s the norm to have to shell out several hundreds of dollars for our phones (if not more than a thousand for the most expensive ones), so why hiding this beautiful technology under a cover ? It’s like having a beautiful and expensive car, only to put big ugly rubber bumpers all over the body just in case you’re getting run into.
Smartphones are nice pieces of technology that come with beautiful designs, don’t ruin it.
Simply more enjoyable
Bulk, bulk, bulk. Phone cases add an unpractical layer of bulk. Your phone’s getting thicker, heavier and feels bigger in your pocket (because it is). You might say “Wait, there are extra-thin cases”. They still makes your phone bigger. And the thinner your case is, the more useless it becomes in its duty to protect your phone, defeating the initial purpose of having it completely. With smartphones getting thinner and thinner, adding a case around them also counteract the makers’ efforts.
For I have tried and experienced it, you just enjoy your phone more without a case. It’s smoother not only on your eyes but also in your hands. You’re closer to your phone, you’re more connected to it.
It doesn’t feel like you’re holding just a thing; you’re holding a useful piece of equipment. You just enjoy your phone more. Smartphones nowadays have become very thin, and without a case you can fully appreciate the usefulness of having a super thin device.
It’s all about the mindset
But the most important thing is that it allows you do shift your mindset. As I stated in the first part of this article, it somehow makes your mind accepting an eventual incident, and you stop worrying. This in turns subtly transform your mindset from preparation to resourcefulness. You go from being cautions to pledging to be resourceful. And this is what it’s all about. You might think getting rid of a case is a simple and stupid choice but it’s not; it’s the subconscious shift toward being resourceful.
It’s adopting a way of thinking based on facing problems only when they arise, and be ready and willing deal with whatever will come along your way. It is internally acknowledging the fact that you are resourceful, and breaking your phone won’t be big a deal because you’ll be able to quickly find a solution if it happens.
Behind a meaningless change hides a real change of mindset. Of course, if you’re particularly clumsy, or have a long history of accidents involving you dropping your phone , it might be wise to find a different way to change your mindset. Otherwise, it might be a good thing for you to try.
So, are you ready to ditch your phone’s case ?