Last week, the unthinkable happened: my iPhone died. After almost two years of phone calls, rapid texting and wireless hotspotting, my trusty companion died in the parking lot of a local community college and I was heartbroken. I spent a day trying to update the software to the latest version (I was only one update behind and worried that was what killed it), factory resetting and listening to everything an Apple forum told me, but after 24 hours of troubleshooting, I gave up and went to Verizon. It was a sad sight, the dead phone lying on the counter as I called my parents with a cell phone tethered to the wall and gave them the bad news. In the days following, I learned a lot about how much I used my phone and did some things that I normally wouldn't do.
1. I watched the morning newsGiphy
Usually, when I wake up, I lay in bed for twenty minutes scrolling through Twitter before I jump onto the New York Times app (their "Things You Need to Know for [Date]" article is GREAT) and the Washington Post Sports section. That's what I would do to be "informed" enough to go about my day. But since I wasn't scrolling through my phone in bed, I began to turn on the morning news when I woke up, flipping through the channels as I got ready and made breakfast.
2. I meal planned
Since I wasn't laying on the couch and scrolling through my phone, I kept going back and forth between the couch and the fridge, where I would open the door and stare at whatever was inside before closing it. After a while, I started taking note of what I had in the fridge (which honestly wasn't very much) and started to meal plan, making grocery lists and figuring out how was I going to fit my whole week within this one plan. By the end, my grocery lists were not "pineapple, milk, cereal, dinner" but more concrete, listing out protein options, vegetable pairings and fruits that I would end up eating with yogurt.
3. I wrote out directions to different places I was goingGiphy
This was the first time that I was driving without a GPS or Waze and I was really worried about getting lost. A lot of these country roads look the same and I really only know how to drive to work, how to drive to class and how to get to the grocery stores, so writing out directions on how to get to the Verizon store and other locations around Roanoke really helped.
4. I spent more time actually focused on my homework
I'm the worst type of person when it comes to homework, I procrastinate to the point where I have to get it done and when I'm actually doing it, I'm scrolling through my phone and distracted. So as I began to work on my homework, I wasn't reaching for my phone after every problem, but powering through and getting it done faster than normal.
5. I actually watched the sunsetGiphy
Since all of my downloaded shows on Amazon Prime and Netflix disappeared as the phone died, I went on a binge-watching hiatus for the week. In that time, I sat on the back deck, usually eating dinner or doing homework as the sun began to set. It was pretty awesome — and not in that "let's grab a photo to put on my story" type of awesome, but like in the "I can't believe this happens every day" awesome.
6. I went to bed earlier
I wasn't tempted to pick up my phone at night and let the blue light mess with my sleep cycles. By not using my phone at night, I ended up falling asleep quicker and became tired earlier in the evening.
I feel like some of these changes should become permanent, like going to bed earlier, spending more time enjoying the things around me and staying actually informed (or not Twitter informed) as I went through my days. This summer, I'll see if I can put down my phone more and try to actually make these changes stick.