I always think to myself what did I do before I had my phone. How did I entertain myself or what did I do? Well on Tuesday I found out when my phone stopped working. While I was internally freaking out I realized this was a time that I could spend doing other things. Then five minutes later I threw my phone on the passenger's seat in my car for not working. I knew that the next day I would have to take it to my carrier store to have it reset but I thought of a similar experience three years ago. When school started my phone would not work and I had to walk around campus without listening to music or seeing what was going on in my friends' lives.
I had to notice what was around me but it also opened my eyes to how much I use my phone. Fast forward to today when walking back to my car both me and my fraternity brother spent the entire time without phones just talking and later that night when I was with my friends I was not as concerned about what they were doing on their phones and just enjoying their company. I realize now that it is ok to go one day without your phone even if you lose all your Snapchat streaks.
Growing up at my camp we would always have to give our phones up at the beginning of the summer. The goal of this was to open our eyes to our surroundings and focus on our friendships rather than the screens we see every day. As I went on to become a counselor and division head more campers got smartphones and apps and people were more scared of losing something they had made with their phones. I had campers who told me they would give their usernames on Snapchat to their friends to keep their streaks. While I am proud of my streaks I am not that concerned with them like my campers. Yes, it does stink that my phone stopped working and I can't listen to music on my walk back to my apartment but it allows me to just have time to myself.
It is interesting to think how much I use my phone in a daily routine. After finishing homework I would watch Netflix on my phone before going to bed but now I know that is not possible and I feel a void. I have never had a problem talking to people without my phone but I have had problems talking to people while they are more interested in their phone. Yes, it does stink that I can not tell my friends to come to meet me somewhere or that I have to carry my laptop around and hope for wi-fi (I did that sophomore year but that's another story) but losing my phone has taught me not to be so dependent on materials.
After a long day of not having a phone, I bought the cheapest smartphone I could find to help me out for the time being. It is terrible but I can do what I need to do on their except call my parents so let's see how long this lasts.
In the months between seeing my brothers, they have noticed a change in me. While I used to be on my phone a lot now I try not to use it as much or only at certain times. There are times I feel dependent on my phone but I do not want that to be the case. Technology should not define me but rather I should define myself.