The Harbinger Online

Opinionated: Life Without a Phone

I hate to say it, but I’m grounded.

Every high schooler has been there. Typical teenage outbursts lead to necessary disciplinary actions, and the next thing a student knows, they’ve been stripped of their most beloved privileges.

Normally, my parents just keep me home. But this time, I have received the most trying punishment of all: having my phone taken away.

That is right. I am without my sidekick, my one true love and companion, who always has my back and keeps me in touch with the oh-so-important world of social media. I am heart broken.

But through this overwhelming pain, I am resolved to stay strong. To keep my head high. To power through. So here I am documenting my travels through a week without a smartphone. Who knows — maybe this curse will turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Day One, Second Period

The first crisis has hit me. First hour was Calculus BC, so I was glad for the relief from the constant temptation of checking my Snapchat app.

But now I am truly struggling.

I’m in American History, and Yoda has just given a five minute lecture on colonial sex and the necessity of Florida as a safe-haven for old people.

This is Twitter gold. The type of stuff that might give me a whole six or seven favorites (practically Twitter famous). My hands are shaking, my thumbs are itching to draft out the perfect tweet.

But I can’t. My phone is back at home, sitting helplessly on my mom’s desk. I’m forced to keep my hands on my desk. The rest of the hour is spent in silent torture, surrounded by classmates who gleefully use their phones whenever they please, unaware of my plight.

Day Two, Fifth Period

I walk into the j-room and I’m swallowed in a wave of questions.

“Julia, did you get my text about my blog?”

“Hey, did you see the thing about the broadcast tonight?”

No, I do not have my phone. Don’t remind me. Don’t remind me that this is already the longest week of my life. That I am suffering from a pain that no one seems to understand.

I swallow my grief for long enough to choke out an explanation, then curl up on the journalism couch to have a silent moment of longing for my phone.

Day Three, Before School

I wake up surprisingly rested. My hand does not automatically smack the snooze button and I don’t shuffle zombie-like around my morning for the first 20 minutes of the day. In fact, this morning feels pleasant.

Why, you may ask? Because I have just had the most productive two nights of homework in my life. I repeat, in my life. I sat in my room for hours on end, without Twitter or Facebook or Snapchats, and I just worked.

This feeling — it’s strange. It’s foreign. I feel productive without my phone.

I kind of like being grounded from it.

Day Four, Second Hour

Scratch that.

It’s been four days without Twitter.

My thumbs have lost significant texting muscles.

I have 32 unread Snapchats.

This is torture

Day Five, Before School

I’m getting used to this.

I won’t say that I like not having a phone. That would be going way too far.

But I do like the freedom from that constant feeling of having to check notifications and updates. I’ve learned that not having my phone while I’m doing homework is probably the most effective way to actually get it done. And I now know that I can go more than five days without sending someone unattractive selfies.

If you’re ever feeling stressed out, take my tip: unplug.


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