I'm Thankful For Growing Up Without A Smartphone

I'm Thankful For Growing Up Without A Smartphone

I didn't need a smartphone to feel connected.
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I didn't have my first cell phone until I was 12 or 13, I think. I grew up in a world with no iPhone or any other kind of smartphone. Of course, there are several exceptional ways that smartphones enhance our lives. They make life easier. Banking is easier. Traveling is easier. Getting discounts is easier. Staying connected to each other is even easier with a smartphone, ironically. I can stay connected with my friends that live far away. I am thankful for the convenience and ease I can get through a smartphone (and it's almost necessitated in some ways now), but I am also thankful I was able to grow up without one.

First of all, let me just acknowledge what a privilege it is to be able to write about the conveniences and inconveniences of owning a smartphone.

I am fully aware that my privilege has allowed me to experience what it's like to own a smartphone. While I appreciate how useful smartphones are, I don't like the disconnect that they potentially cause for a multitude of reasons (#firstworldproblems). In America, we live in a culture that is so engrossed in technology, as is no surprise to anyone. I think I was honestly born in a sweet spot in time, though, on the brink of major technological advancements.

I grew up without a smartphone, which allows me to appreciate them more now.

I really had no interest in owning a smartphone as a teenager. My parents sort of made the decision for me to switch over from my rad flip phone. I simply didn't see the need to have a smartphone. What would I use it for? I had everything I needed. I stayed connected as I needed to through a mobile device but didn't have a word of information at my fingertips yet. I lived in the moment and spent time as a kid playing outside with neighbors and friends. Actually, all I wanted to do was read as a kid.

I enjoyed being a kid without feeling the constant need to be plugged into a smartphone.

I think I'm pretty reasonable about when I use my phone and when I don't today. Though I try to stay engaged in the moment, sometimes I do catch myself turning to my phone. It's so easy to turn to it for validation, to pass time by, or to make sure you sent that email. I want to focus on people and conversation rather than being on a phone. There are a million things you can do on a smartphone, but I'm honestly just glad that I didn't grow up knowing what its like to have the world at my fingertips so I can appreciate that I do now.

Cover Image Credit: rawpixel

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When God Gives A Girl A Brother

He gives her a best friend.
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My brother is only 18 months younger than I am, but he's also at least a foot taller than me. Growing up with someone so close to my age has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Yes, there was a time when I thought every single little thing he did was annoying and his feelings towards me were mutual. Yes, we still get into arguments and disagreements. But for the most part, we enjoy each others company. When God gives a girl a brother, He gives her...

1. A listener

I always have someone to talk to. No matter what, when, or where. Some of my favorite moments are spent chatting my brother's ears off while he absent-mindedly nods and continues to play x-box. Sometimes he just listens and doesn't say anything. Sometimes he gives me long replies. He always knows just how to react to what I am saying to him, which is why I tell him almost everything.

2. A protector

When I think about the man that my brother has become, it seriously brings tears to my eyes. He's so big!! How did this happen? I can remember when I was little and could boss him around and he would actually do whatever I said. Now I'm scared that if he hugs me too hard, I might break in half. My brother cares about me, and lets me know it. I'm so thankful to know that he is there for me no matter what and would do anything to keep me from harm.

3. A dance partner

Another favorite memory is dancing to Juju on that beat in the kitchen while mom is cooking dinner (or dancing with us). Or any other time any other song is on... in any other place... LOL. My brother and I are different in a lot of ways, but we both have no problem busting a move together.

4. A Sonic date

"Hey, wanna go get a sonic drink?" "Yeah, if you're buying!" This is a typical conversation for us, and he actually really does usually buy my food! (With mom's credit card sometimes, does that still count?)

5. An example

Being the older sister, I sometimes feel like I have let my brother down in a lot of ways in that he is probably an example to me more than I am to him. He is incredibly smart, talented, and hard working. Kids FLOCK to this guy, and he has the most creative mind ever. Seriously, I'm so nervous that my future kids are going to like their funny uncle more than me. He's way cooler than I am, and I want to be just like him when I grow up.

6. Comic relief

If you've never heard a "Lane Prevett story," pull up a chair. I will be glad to make you cry from laughing so hard. There's no way you can spend time with him and not laugh. And that, to me, is the best kind of person to be.

7. A best friend

My brother is a lot of things, but my favorite thing about him is that he is my best friend. Yes, we aggravate each other. Sometimes he plays his music too loud, and sometimes I take up all the internet so that he can't play video games. But I know that he would do anything for me, and he knows the same goes for him.

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I Use My Phone To Write, Ask Me Anything

12-year-old me would be disappointed.

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I use my phone as much as the next young adult but I don't use it for reasons beyond social media. I check my accounts, YouTube, music and maybe reply to emails. I don't use it for school work, work in general, or even side projects. It's become such a norm to use my laptop that I convinced myself I need it in order to do work that needs to be done.

I use to write around 300 words a day before I was given my first laptop. I wrote stories and blog posts every week for my small group of readers. Writing on a phone wasn't easy but it was the only way I could read stories and write to them as well.

Since I first got a laptop, I stopped using my phone as a way to write. My laptop was more accessible and it was easier to catch mistakes. It made more sense to look for a larger screen. The con side was that because it became more accessible, I didn't feel such a weight to write.

I wasn't writing stories so much as I was writing a blog post and strange poems. My mind was too into reality with all of high school and college that fairytales could only be explored through other people's stories.

Recently I was left without a laptop at my disposal but my major is a huge reason I continue to have to constantly write. I have to grow with my writings and expand my thoughts from what I learn and what I realize about myself. For a long time now, I convinced myself that my laptop was my only way to accomplish a task. I had completely forgotten that I have the world at my fingertips with just a tap of my phone.

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