I Didn't Use My Phone For 3 Days And This Is What I Realized

I Didn't Use My Phone For 3 Days And This Is What I Realized

Without having a phone, I realized a lot about when I did have a phone.

This weekend, my phone, unfortunately, decided to take a spill onto the sidewalk and shattered into a million pieces, leaving the entire phone completely useless. With being at school, I was not able to get it fixed until Monday night — leaving me phone-less for nearly three days. Now, this is not a long time, however, it gave me a lot of time to think. I was completely away from having technology everywhere I go within the click of a button. Overall, I had come to a sad realization that I think a lot of millennials could agree on, that we rely on technology and social media way too much in our everyday lives.

I realized I don't need my phone to talk to my friends

My initial reaction to my phone breaking was, "Shoot, how will I communicate with my friends," this, however, was not a huge issue. So I couldn't Snapchat or text for three days, but I realized how sad it was that I thought I needed a phone to talk to my friends. This is in no way an issue anyone should have just because they don't have a phone or aren't on social media.

I realized phones are distractions from what is in front of me

I actually valued the time I had with my friends more, when I was hanging out with them without a phone. I was able to focus directly on the people, activities and conversations that were right in front of me with no distractions of messages and notifications. This was a different experience, something I'm not used to, which is actually sad. Every time I am with my friends, everyone still feels the need to be checking in on social media and see what everyone else that they know is up to on Instagram and Snapchat instead of focusing what we are doing. During this short period of time not having a phone I almost became annoyed with my friends that did because it was like there was something stuck in between and holding back us from being just us and hanging out, which was their phones.

I used my phone as a way to avoid people and situations in public

I then started to realize how much I relied on my phone as almost a "tool" of comfort. I realized how many situations there were in the day that gave me an excuse to be in my phone just so I didn't feel awkward. For example, While riding in the elevator, waiting in lines while getting food, walking to class, waiting for a professor to start a class, and so much more. I realize I use my phone even when I don't want or need to, just because it's "the thing to do" because everyone else is doing it, and if I don’t have my head down looking at the same social media posts I've seen five times within the past hour I will be looked at as weird. I realized my generation struggles to find peace in eye contact and speaking face to face, so we use our devices to hide it.

Without my phone, I feel something is missing

Another thing I felt without my phone was almost like a sense of something missing or I was forgetting something when I was out in public. I recently read an article regarding technology and connections and a quote that stuck out to me was "The next time you leave your phone at home, think about that being the reason for feeling like a piece of you is missing." This quote stuck out to me so much and really made me think about it. I believe people who are active on social media leave a part of themselves on technological devices and on social media, then when they're not on them they feel a longing for them and are almost in a way addicted to their lives on their technology or social media. But what if what everyone is really missing out on is the world in front of them offline and they just didn't know it?

Being the one without a phone left me feeling like I was living in a different world than those that did have phones.

Without having a phone, I realized a lot about when I did have a phone. It was a weird feeling, I almost felt left out from everyone else, or like I was missing something, not following everyone else and doing the "Norm." I definitely realized that this world is very technologically involved and with that comes many flaws, or at least in my eyes. I believe technology has created a bubble around people and it reels them into almost a whole new world, and once that technology is taken away you, or at least I was living in a different world.

Cover Image Credit: Sierra Gardner

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3 Things You're Missing Out On When You Can't Put Down Your Phone

"At the end of the day, you won't remember the times you sat around and were scrolling through a Twitter feed."

In the age of social media and the age of the "millennials," everywhere you look there is someone with some kind of electronics. Whether it be a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, etc., you can't get away from it.

Think of when you're sitting in a restaurant and you look around and the kids are watching movies on their iPads. The teenagers are texting away on their smartphones and even your grandma sitting across from you is scrolling along her Facebook timeline.

Here are a few things you're missing out on when you can't seem to put your phone down and be in the moment:

1. Meaningful conversation

I hate to be old school but think of all of the conversations you're missing out on and the memories you could be making with those right in front of you when you are choosing to look at the lives of others through social media rather than your cousin sitting next to you.

I can think of a hundred times when I had the best time sitting around a table with my family and just talking and completely forgetting I even had a phone or what Kim Kardashian was wearing today.

2. Your surroundings

Have you ever took the time to look around and see what's around you and what you are missing? This world is so beautiful and when you're constantly stressing about who has texted you, or ignored you, you aren't seeing the beauty of the natural world.

This may seem like a silly issue when you can see the world in pictures on Google, however, can you experience a walk in the park on a sunny afternoon through others pictures? I don't think so.

3. A clear mind

Although sometimes music can be therapy and that often times comes from our smartphones, I can't stress how important it is to take some time for yourself.

Stop looking at a phone screen for approval on an Instagram picture that you posted or seeing how many views you got on your Snapchat story. Your mental health can't thrive when you constantly need approval from others that are also sitting behind a screen.

At the end of the day, you won't remember the times you sat around and were scrolling through a Twitter feed, you will remember and cherish the times that you forgot you had a phone and actually took the time to get to know people and their stories.

Cover Image Credit: unsplash.com

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Dear Apple, You Just Cost This Loyal Customer A Ton Of Money

I cannot believe that Apple would do that. But they did.

Dear Apple,

I hope you are having a great start to 2018. Because I’m not. You know why I’m not? Sit back. Take a load off. Let me tell you a story.

Christmas 2017, I wake up to open presents like I have done every year of my life. I find that I have been gifted the Apple Watch Series 3. My excitement is through the roof because I have been wanting one. I see that it isn’t cellular enabled and I am okay with that because I hardly go anywhere without my phone. I got out my phone and began pairing it as I am getting ready to go to my grandmother’s house for Christmas lunch.

Once my watch and phone were paired and I was ready, we set off to my grandmother’s while I played with my new device. I was so excited... until I realized that none of my contacts had synced. I could read my messages but I couldn’t see who they were from. I texted everyone that I knew had an Apple Watch. All of them said that it should go away soon, to be patient. So, I waited.

Three hours later, and I still didn’t have my contacts. I decided I would investigate on Google. Google told me to unpair and repair, unpair and delete Watch app and repair, and turn off iCloud contacts and turn back on. I spent a majority of my Christmas afternoon doing just that. Nothing worked. My uncle, who has an Apple Watch too, said maybe it was because I had so many contacts (483 to be exact). I texted a friend that I knew would have a lot of contacts and asked her how many she had. She has 840. There went that theory. I decided I would just wait it out because even if I wanted to do something like go to the Apple store, they would be closed on Christmas.

I called Apple on the following Thursday, the 28th. The guy on the phone couldn’t understand why I was having the issue. He even remote accessed my iPhone to make sure that I had all the correct settings. He couldn’t figure out the problem. He decided there was nothing more he could do so he put me on hold to speak to his supervisor. The supervisor told me to do all these things that I had already done with the last guy. Nothing worked. He said his supervisor would be able to assist me. I’m not sure how far I went up the chain with my problem but I talked to at least five different supervisors with none being able to fix the problem. Finally, after four hours, one said that maybe the watch I got was bad and I needed a different one. So it was decided that I would exchange the one I had for another one. (Note that this wasn't a fix. This was a theory.)

I wasn’t able to go to Target until New Year's. I get to Target only to find that they were out of the GPS watches and only had the cellular ones in stock. Those were $50 extra without tax. I decided I wanted it then because Target didn’t know when they would get another shipment in. I took the watch to the checkout line and found out that with tax, I would have to pay $90 to have the watch that I didn’t really want but was only getting because my contacts weren’t syncing.

I got home and paired the watch. But guess what? My contacts STILL weren’t syncing. Imagine my frustration when I found out a watch I had paid $90 extra for, was doing the same thing my old watch had done...

The closest Apple store to me is about an hour away. So, I decided I would try AT&T because they have the devices in store. This was the following Friday. I got off work at five and headed straight there. The guy I worked with had no idea how to fix it. But, he had a theory. He said I could live with the problem or test the theory. It was up to me. He said if I wanted to test the theory, he would be there the next day.

I went home and slept on it. I woke up and texted the friends that I knew had an Apple Watch. They started confirming the theory. I decided I would test out. I went to AT&T. I told the guy my decision. We set everything up. Paired the watch again to find out the theory was correct. My watch now had the contacts all synced. Everything was right in my world again. Except now I was in debt to AT&T. Care to guess how that happened? I now own an iPhone 8.

The theory: my phone was too old. It was a 6. It was paid off. It wasn’t giving me any real issue that I *needed* a new phone. The issues it had, I could have dealt with.

According to MacRumors, the Apple Watch “will require connection to an iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, 6, or 6 Plus running iOS 8.2.” Well, mine was running 11.2.1, and it was in the list. So you would THINK it would work. Or you would think that all the Apple people I spoke to on that Thursday would have informed me. But, no. They didn’t say a single thing about the problem being with my phone. No one said anything. So, now, I have an installment bill of $849 for 30 months to add to my phone line, plus $10/month for the watch’s line, plus the extra $90 I had to pay to get this watch.

The reason for this letter is to inform you that what I went through was ridiculous. I want to inform the world of this problem. The 6 really isn’t that old, to be honest. It isn’t like it was a 5. But, even the Series 1 should work with a 5. My mom just got the Series 2 but was worried about hers not working with her phone because she has a 6s and she knew what I just went through. But her contacts are synced. But, I wonder if the Series 3 would sync with her phone. I hope no one else has to go through what I did. I hope no one else gets suckered into paying more money because their phone is “too old” even though it’s paid off.

Did you enjoy my story? Did you laugh at the ridiculousness because you knew from the beginning when I laid out my problem that it was probably because I had an old phone? Or do you not know? Think if you were in my shoes and it happened to you from another company say your TV bill. Would you be mad? Would you see it from my side?

Sincerely,

A Disgruntled, in-debt, but still loyal customer (Loyal because I own a Mac, an iPad, an Apple Watch, an iPhone, and I subscribe to Apple Music.)

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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