Normally not having a phone equates to social suicide.
This no phone day I could not check social media, text my friends, or take pictures even. As a college student, this sounds like a death sentence.
Society constantly makes your phone an essential part of your life. For me, it was essential. I use it for a GPS, alarm, cell phone, social media (including dating because let's be real who hasn't downloaded tinder or bumble before), pictures, timers, literally anything you can think of I probably use my phone for. It is almost like an ankle monitor they give prisoners, but these ones cost thousands and I would normally never leave home without it. With society's emphasis on phone dependency, I set out to show three things that I think people my age as well as other generations tend to forget: You do not need a phone to have fun, not having a phone allows you to have more freedom, and shows that no phone is ACTUALLY no problem.
No phone is no problem.
This was my mantra for the day - I had dedicated to use no phone. I also tried to limit computer time (still had to make sure my parents knew I wasn't in a ditch or kidnapped.) In my day without a phone, it started from the moment I woke up. I woke up honestly disoriented since I use my phone as an alarm clock. I had to physically get up to check the time in the kitchen. Honestly, at this point I was hoping for a day where I slept in so much that it was 1 or 2 pm and I could get my phone faster. It was only 9 am, so when it's 9 am and you have no phone and you're bored, you make an impressive breakfast. I wanted to make a frittata and an iced Latte. Since I'm dairy-free, I went to go to the store to make myself an iced latte with almond milk. Along with my frittata, I made a fancy coffee. No, I'm not just talking Keriug, I have an espresso machine too.
Going to the store without a phone was interesting. I use a Bluetooth radio system in my car with GPS, so anytime I want to go somewhere I use that……. Since I couldn't use those, I had to listen to the radio. It wasn't THAT bad but a worse task at hand was in my mits driving without a phone. This always scares me because of the chance if something happened, I couldn't call my parents to ask for help, I couldn't call 911 in an accident, and I couldn't use my Google maps if I got lost. So, I put on my big girl pants and went to the store with my sights on almond milk. I got in the car, turned on the engine, found a cool radio station and went on to the store. It was exactly like going to the store with my phone, but I got there and home much faster and safer. I started to realize the fear of leaving the house without a phone was irrational.
In keeping in the spirit of no phone no problem and going outside my comfort zone, I continued my day to show the fun I can have without a phone
Fun without a phone.
Before going along with my day, I wanted to make my breakfast. I wanted to make a frittata from scratch with no phone. I started to get annoyed when I couldn't do this the easy way and look for a recipe on Pinterest. Here I am 21 years old and never having made a recipe from a cookbook. I had to find a book to find a recipe. So, I had to actually flip through cookbooks in my house to find a recipe I could use, then add what I wanted. I finally had all the elements I needed to complete my breakfast. I went on to make my breakfast and plated it so pretty so I could go enjoy the rest of my day. Iced latte is made, the frittata is made, all that is left to do is find something to watch while I eat. I decided to watch this documentary that was in Black and White. It was all about how Woodstock became such the powerhouse it was.
After watching this, I really felt intrigued by the culture surrounding Woodstock. I wanted to listen to some of the music that was in Woodstock (Janis Joplin, The Who, Grateful Dead, etc.). Normally I would connect my Bluetooth speaker with my phone and play music. Since this was not an option, I got out an old record player and started to play with some of my Grandmother's old records she let me have. After listening to music, I got inspired by how cool and psychedelic most of the art was for these bands, so I started to just paint. The afternoon I spent painting was perhaps one of the most serene moments I have had in college. Without my phone in hand, I got to actually 100% dedicate myself to what I was doing in that moment. Since I usually am glued to my phone, this was a feeling I have not had in a very long time.
Now that I had fun without my phone, it's time for me to address something that not having my phone let me have all day.
Mental Freedom was one thing that I thought that I wouldn't experience on that Saturday. Turns out, freedom was with me through-out the day. In the mornings I usually check my emails. Not concentrating on my phone, this was the first Saturday that I had not a care in the world. No one was bothering me so I could actually wind down and dedicate my time to myself. I stayed out of the hate we see when we do check social media. Whether you realize it or not, everything we see on social media is fake. The sense of the FOMO you feel when you see a hot Instagram model, or a group of people together was no more. You feel the freedom from judgment. You feel freedom from the stereotypes given to you from being a part of this generation. Not having a phone actually allowed me to be free from the zombie state a phone has you in. Next time you walk to class, look around you. I can bet you money that you will see a sea of people on their phones and being oblivious to what goes on around them.
The freedom I got was enough of a reward itself but reflecting on my day as a whole, I see the silver lining behind the apple logo in the trash.
While technology is great, it makes us feel a sense of dependency on it.
After my day that was really fun, I plan on going to make a day at least once a month to go phone-free, not only because I like to take self-care days but in researching the benefits of going phone-free more often, I learned I will minimize my chance for social media addiction and improve my mental health. Instead of being anxious for the phone free days I have ahead, I know I can enjoy my freedom, realize not having my phone isn't a problem, and that it is possible to have fun without a phone.