I Went Phone-less For A Week And Here's What Happened

I Went Phone-less For A Week And Here's What Happened

A communication nightmare or kind of relaxing?
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New Year's Day, after nothing of any particular significance, my phone decided that it no longer wished to work. By events of "significance", I mean that it wasn't dropped, nothing was spilled on it and no traumatic event occurred to it that would lead you to expect it had been damaged. I simply woke up, it worked fine for a few hours and then some fun white and gray lines decided to appear on it and the touch screen no longer worked. I figured this just meant a quick trip to the Apple Store that day and I would be on my way. However, with it being just after the holidays, the next available appointment was a week away, so I (not by choice) went phone-less for the week. Here's what happened:

I was way more productive.

I've had a list of chores sitting on the white board in my room since I came home from school three weeks ago that I just never got around to. Without the immediate distraction of my phone I got about half of them done all in a row in one afternoon. I never realized how much time I wasted just scrolling through Instagram and Twitter and sending Snapchats until the option wasn't readily available to me. Though I still had access to most things through my computer, I used it much less than my ever-present phone and more of the time in my day was devoted to cleaning, organizing and reading. Though it sounds pretty boring it's much more satisfying to actually have accomplished something in the hour or two you have in your day rather than to have simply kept yourself up to date on the latest Buzzfeed articles.

I found extra time in my day.

I wasn't at the constant beck and call of my phone all day, which means e-mails, texts, GroupMe messages, phone calls and Snapchats among other things all had to wait until I had access to a computer or simply until I had my phone back. When I was out I was out. This meant staying connected to the people I was with and what I was doing wasn't something I had to consciously be aware of, nor was the fact that staring at a screen in the presence of others is rude. Even reading a book, I wasn't tempted to take a break every couple of pages just to check that tantalizing little screen; I read until I wanted to stop and then I did something else.

I went back to some old ways.

My before-bed ritual once again became reading a few chapters in a book rather than scrolling through every platform of social media I have. I started listening to the radio every time I would get in the car rather than plugging in an aux and pulling up Spotify. I woke up, without an alarm, and turned on the TV to watch the news rather than scrolling through a News Feed and finding important news mixed with trivial posts. I started my day as soon as I woke up, rather than scrolling through my phone for fifteen minutes first.

I still stayed connected.

A lot of people think it's near impossible to go without a phone and still stay connected and updated in today's society. Though I didn't have my phone when I was out anywhere, I faired just fine staying in the loop and in-touch with my friends. I used my computer to receive iMessages and check Instagram and GroupMe. So even though I wasn't receiving messages right away, I could still make plans and any seriously important information would still reach me. It was nice to check-in and check-out of social media as I pleased. I didn't have notifications showing up right away in the palm of my hand urging me to check them and respond ASAP.

All of this being said, it was a nice break and something I might do again from time to time by choice, maybe not for a week but a day or two at a time. My phone was repaired yesterday, although it seems that it's still not completely fixed (*cough @Apple do better*) and I'm certainly ready to plug back-in, however maybe not so whole-heartedly this time. When I'm feeling stressed next time I'll remember to "unplug" for the day and pick up a book or get some chores done.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Salvo

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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It's Time Stop Texting In Text-Talk

We're not 12 and it isn't 2012.

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When most of my friends and I started getting our first cell phones, the most popular phone to have were still those phones that you had to 7 four times to write an "s." You were super cool if your parents bought you a slider phone with a QWERTY keyboard.

Because texting took so long, we, of course, used text-speech like "LOL" or "TTYL" or "WRU?"

"Are" was just the letter R and "you" was just the letter U. And this was acceptable at the time. Some of these acronyms followed us into present-day, but some just really need to be left in the past.

A boy recently texted me, sent from an iPhone, "How r u? Wryd?" and I honestly sat there for a few minutes utterly flabbergasted. An adult with a modern, top-of-the-class phone, really sent me a text message that looked like it was sent from 2010. I didn't even know iPhones, with Autocorrect that changed the simplest words to something so obscure, could even let you send a text like that!

There is a certain level of unattractiveness when people misuse "their/there/they're," but it goes to the next level when adults don't even bother to spell out a three-letter word. There is a sense of laziness and call me pretentious, but I just can't stand for laziness at this age. What does that say about a person when they don't even want to put forth the effort to do something as mundane as type out a full, coherent message?

A text message does not have to be written as a formal essay, fit with transitions and long SAT words to impress somebody. To me, if you're trying to impress someone, especially an adult, the message shouldn't look like it was written by a 12-year-old and make me want to answer back, "Smdh ttyl."

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