My phone mesmerizes me. I love technology and am a sucker for iPhones, seeing as I save up the absurd $300 everytime I hear a new one is coming out. I don’t let anyone touch it. I spend hours on it going through various social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, looking through the group chats I’m in and SNAPCHATTING (Sorry for the caps lock. I recently became obsessed with snapchat).
My days start off with a phone at 100 percent battery, but as I’m walking to the senior lot at the end of the day, that happy green energized battery is a sullen red reading 10 percent. It’s not even that I just am texting or checking tweets and statuses; I rely on it for everything. Emails to colleges; check. Googling “how to superscore an ACT” or lyrics to “Dark Horse”; check. Pinterest DIY crafts; check.
I think most teenagers can agree that our phone is basically super glued to our body. It keeps us sane and in the know. It helps us find out information in a split second that we would otherwise spend hours digging up.
I have a very competitive and confident spirit, so when the challenge arose for me to try going a week without my phone I nonchalantly said, “Of course, how hard could it be?” And that was that. I locked my phone in a closet in the journalism room for a week.
Close those dropped jaws, people.
The stages of phoneless-ness were similar to that of having a withdrawal from drugs. I felt like a walking Facebook status all week.
Feeling…Annoyed. It’s Saturday and I’ve been phoneless for 24 hours. I purposefully didn’t tell any of my friends about this challenge I had accepted, so I would be able to see their reactions.
I sat at home all day feeling like a locked-up hobbit with no connection to the outside world. I don’t think I’ve ever been more bored in my life. I had some quality me time and lemme tell you — I got kind of sick of myself. At this point, most of my friends still don’t know that I am without a phone. I only have one of my friend’s cell phone numbers memorized so I call her from my handy dandy land line and find out the plan for the Halloween party I am supposed to be attending.
The rest of the day I laid on my couch watching scandalous Lifetime movies with my sister who says that is the most time I’ve ever spent with her. Finally, I make it out of the house at night and that’s when my friends started drilling me with questions, something along the lines of, “How are we supposed to talk about themes for games?” and “What is the deal with your phone!?” I explain the situation, smirking at their frustration and we go on with our evening.
Feeling…Productive. I spent the whole next day cleaning out my room and closet with my mom. SO MUCH ENERGY. It’s like everything I would usually be doing (i.e. texting, checking social media, YouTubing animal births) was sucking away all of my energy. Without the ability to be on my phone 24/7 I couldn’t stop talking, laughing, jumping — literally. My mom kept making fun of me because for some reason I kept speaking in text lingo. Starting of my sentences with “TBH” and ending them with “LOL”.
I didn’t want to let myself become lifeless without a phone. So when I got home from school and had nothing to do with myself I applied to three more colleges because, why not?
Feeling…Relieved. When I hit the mid-point of my phoneless journey, I knew there was no way I was backing down from this challenge. There was no way I was about to cave and beg for my phone back. I was actually ENJOYING having to talk to people face to face.
Although I enjoyed it, I definitely was out of the loop. Actually not just out of the loop; out of the loop, down the corner and across the street. That’s where I was. I had missed out on going to friends’ houses for movie nights, I slept through what I assumed would have been a delicious brunch, and worst of all I missed out on ALL the girl drama (totally kidding, that was probably one of the best parts of not having the phone).
Feeling…Empowered. When there were only two days left, my competitive spirit had kept up with me. At this point it wasn’t even about not having my phone or being able to text, check Instagram, etc… it was more about proving something to myself and to the adults that think all we ever do is stare at our phones. Our generation isn’t reliant on the cell phone. Yes, they are very helpful and sometimes we may settle for less just because it is easier to use a phone then it is to go and put yourself out there in person.
Feeling…Anxious. I actually started dreading the moment I was getting my phone back. When I walked into fourth hour on Friday, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to look at it.
My green message icon literally looks like a ticker. The number just keeps bumping up and up and up. It finally stops at the magic number of 820. Yes, 820 texts. I will admit that about 600 of them were from one group message, but still. I don’t think I ever realized how much people can text. I’m not kidding that my hands were shaking while reading/trying to respond to all those messages. My vision was getting blurry and my phone was hotter than Ryan Gosling (but seriously that thing was heating up, and quick).
My family claims that this week will go down in history as the most time I have ever spent with them, which wasn’t very great for me, but a lot of good did come out of this experiment of mine. I have realized that my phone actually isn’t a “part of me.” It doesn’t define me. It doesn’t speak for me. I like talking!!! (well, I think everyone knows that) and I like personal interactions with people. It is so much easier to get your point across and understand what people are actually saying if you don’t have emojis and punctuation marks to throw you off. And now I don’t think I’ll ever be as reliant on my phone as I was before. No joke, I’ve actually lost it like 3 times since having it back. I didn’t frantically scatter around looking for it. I just let it be, I knew it would turn up eventually and kept on Feeling…Good.