A Week Without a Phone


Elise Tidwell, Co-Head Editor

When I began this challenge, I had no idea the problems it would cause me. A week without a phone seemed like no big deal. I hardly even use my phone anyway! Truly, as a teenager in this day and age I’ve never felt as attached to my phone as most of my peers. What I didn’t realize was how often I need to communicate with people, and how hard it is to find the time to communicate in person.

The first day went by without any hiccups. I kept my phone turned off in my backpack. Every couple of hours I would unconsciously slide my hand into my bag and press the home button on my phone only to be surprised with a blank, black screen and a disabled phone. As the day went on, I stopped reaching for my phone. I started observing the people around me as my pinterest account (my go-to cure for boredom) was off-limits. I noticed that approximately a third of my classmates seemed to pull out their phones at one point or another during my classes, a crime of which I am also guilty.

My second day at iworkt was much more difficult. I felt unsettled. I was starting to go through what I have now dubbed the dreaded phone withdrawal. I felt this unprecedented need to check my instagram. As I looked at rest of the world play on their phones and post on social media, I felt as if I was missing out on a small part of the world everyone else was in on. I was suddenly paranoid that I was missing out on an important text or an admissions email from a college. When I got home my mother asked me why I hadn’t texted her back all day. I was truly getting antsy. As I lay my head down that night, I could hardly keep my eyes off my phone.

I woke up the next morning determined to make it through at least one more day without my phone, but as the day went on that hope slowly dwindled. About mid-way through the day my resolve gave in and I turned my cell phone back on. As the home screen popped up, the wonderful world of technology came back into my life. I swear, I’ve never loved my cell phone more than in that moment. In a span of no more than two minutes, I had caught up on everything I missed during my two days of complete radio silence. I quickly scrolled through instagram, pinterest, snapchat, Facebook, and CNN news apps. I was overwhelmed with information all at the touch of my fingertips.

As I accepted defeat, I realized that social media may not be as awful and distracting as many people believe it to be. I noticed that most people who don’t understand social media tend to dislike and distrust it. Social media too often gets a bad reputation for being distracting, unintelligent, and impersonal; however, I find social media to be informative, expressive, and entertaining. I appreciate the way my generation has so many ways to access the world around us with such ease.

While going without my phone was a refreshing experience, I must say, I felt lost without it, like a piece of me was missing.