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.