My 24 Hour Technology Fast
Start writing a post

My 24 Hour Technology Fast

From riding the wrong bus to playing cards at a local Dunkin Donuts..

My 24 Hour Technology Fast
Technology Free Day

When you’re standing around in a group of people, what is the first thing you do? If you thought “reach for my phone,” you’re not the only one. Most people will grab their phone and scroll on social media, check their text messages, or go through their apps just to ease the awkward feeling. We use our cell phones for other more important reasons such as communicating with others, taking pictures, using Google Maps to get around and much more. Now, imagine not having your phone for 24 hours and still going about your day. For some, it may seem easy for some while others may not even consider a day without their phone. Well, it happened to me and here’s my eventful experience.

It all started when I was having dinner with my two of my friends one night. We were discussing our classes and our new professors. We began to speak about some of the group projects, homework assignments and other classroom activities we were anticipating this term. One of my friends, Hannah, mentioned that she has an assignment for her Media course where for 24 hours, she has to refrain from using any sort of media including her phone, computer, movie theaters, radios etc. She explained that she had to do it this weekend and would have a hard time in doing so. In support of a friend, me and another friend, Janyce, decided that we would join in the challenge. We decided to start at 9:30 p.m., giving us a little bit of time to quickly check all of our social media and text our friends and family. We also informed our parents of the challenge and told them that they should call if an emergency occurs.

During the final minutes before 9:30, we also decided that we should map out our day. We decided that we would meet at 10:00 a.m. downstairs in the lobby of our dorm. We would then go to the bus stop and take the 21 bus to the mall a few towns away. We would eat lunch together before taking another bus (29) to a bowling alley and then finally we would take the 3 bus back to the bus depot in which we started. We wrote down a few landmarks so that we knew we were walking in the correct direction for each of our stops. We also planned to stop in Target to get some board games for us to play the next night until it was 9:30 once again.

When 9:30 finally arrived, we all placed our phones on the charger away from us and immediately we began to joke about how we missed our phones already. We cleaned up our dinner and began to discuss what we missed already about our phones. The first thing I mentioned that I missed was music. I tend to listen to music to put myself asleep at night or I play music aloud when I am making breakfast for myself in the mornings. I also realized that I would not be able to read because all of the books were on my kindle app on my phone.

To pass the time, we decided to play some card games. The first game we decided to play was I declare war. To our surprise the first round we played, we all got 7s and had to play against each other. Almost instantly, we all stated that we wished we had our phones to share with others on Snapchat how odd it was that we all had 7s on the first hand. We played a few more rounds and then my phone rang. Only 24 minutes into the challenge and we all got nervous as if we never heard a phone ring before. I picked it up and shared that I was doing a challenge where I couldn't be on my phone for 24 hours. We then played another card game called Wigout for a few hours before going to our own rooms to prepare for the next day. When I got to my room, I didn’t have anything to do besides the dishes and prepare for the next day. I went to bed pretty early and luckily didn’t have any trouble sleeping without my music.

I woke up earlier than anticipated and had to use the oven to check the time (an exception since my watch didn’t charge that night). At exactly 10 a.m. I decided it would be the perfect time to go down and as soon as my elevator reached the lobby, the other elevator opened with Janyce and Hannah was already there waiting for us. We all discussed our phoneless night and how easy (or hard) it was. We all shared that it was tempting to text each other to make sure we were all awake and ready to go. We all shared that we woke up earlier than expected and stared at the ceiling since our phones wasn’t an option. We walked to the bus stop and found out that we had just missed our bus by three measly minutes and had to wait 27 more for the next bus - great! We began to observe our surroundings and make small talk to pass the time. We found another bus that was going to the same destination and decided to take that since it was leaving before our initial 21 bus. We got on and was entertained by our fellow passengers and the Rhode Island scenery. It took about a half an hour (we guessed since we couldn’t check out phones) but we finally got to the mall. We shopped around a bit and then went to Red Robin to grab something to eat.

It was Hannah and my first time at Red Robin and the waitresses welcomed us warmly. The TV was playing at Red Robin and we had to avoid looking at it which allowed us to think of different topics to discuss including our favorite Disney and Pixar movies and critiquing the sequels to some of the Disney and Pixar movies. When it was time to pay, our cashier told us that we could pay by card using a digital device on the table. However, after explaining our challenge to refrain from such digital devices, we were able to pay through her. Our next adventure was to find out the bus times to go to the bowling alley. We found an information desk in the mall and found out that the next bus wasn’t for another hour. Disappointed, we quickly decided that we would just continue to shop. We went to Target to plan dinner for the night. We decided to make chicken noodle from scratch since it was cold outside. We had to ask for the time to ensure that we wouldn’t be late.

When we got to the bus stop, we took the correct bus, but we went westbound instead of eastbound. Although we were a little upset, it didn’t bother us because we wasted time that we thought we had so much extra of. Our bus driver was very helpful and even helped us figure out where the bowling alley was relative to the bus stop. After about 2 hours on the bus, we finally arrived at the bus stop not far from the bowling alley. While walking, we saw a few places we would stop at, in case the bus took a half an hour to reach our stop. When we finally went to the bowling alley and realized that we weren’t able to snap each other bowl to share the fun we were having. However, we realized that the urge to have our phones to fill in those “awkward gaps” had slowly disappeared.

After we played a few games, we decided that it was time to go home because it was getting dark. We couldn’t check the bus schedule so we went to a Dunkin Donuts we passed earlier, another store and then returned back to the Dunkin Donuts to ask the current time and the time for the next bus. To our horror, we had an hour to wait. Luckily, Hannah brought some cards along. So, we played a few card games, drank hot chocolate and watched the clock on the wall so we didn’t miss the next bus into Providence. We finally got on the bus at 7:15 and relaxed as we prepared for the ride home.

When we finally got back, we each went to our room and told Hannah to leave her door open after we dropped our stuff off. We then made our chicken noodle soup with vegetables, pasta, and homemade dumplings. We didn’t have any specific recipe, so we improvised and was surprised at the delicious outcome. We sat at the table around 9 p.m. and began discussing our day. We stated our favorite part and our least favorite part (which we came to the conclusion was the cold weather for all of us). We ate our soup and watched the oven’s clock until it turned 9:30. We pulled out our phones and immediately scrolled through our notifications. It was weird at first and we only used it for 2 minutes before neglecting it again to continue sharing the different phases of our day.

Overall, it was an awakening experience. It was great to actually be aware of our surroundings. It was fun to think of random conversations and really get to know each other more than the surface. We shared a lot of facts about ourselves and really became in tune with each other. Throughout the day, the silences were now awkward, but enlightening to be aware then every moment does not have to be filled with something. I embraced the silence and took it as a time to think, relax and be mindful. It was a time for me to realize how I mattered in my surroundings. It was time to realize how long a day can be if I was engulfed in my phone all the time. I would encourage everyone to do the 24-hour challenge and journal any and everything you would like to discuss or share with others when you get your phone or other device back.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments