No phone, no problem


Frances Mackinnon, junior, frantically tries to locate her phone.

I have a confession; I lose things, a lot. My entire life has been plagued by lost assignments, clothes, wallets and phones, especially phones. So it came as no surprise to everyone when I lost my phone last week.

It all started on Thursday when I frantically emptied out my backpack in my 4th hour and realized my phone was nowhere to be found. I was a mess. I went to the student office, the front office, all of my classrooms and the bathrooms, but no luck: my phone was lost. One theft report and mental breakdown later, I walked out of Homestead defeated, mentally calculating how many shifts I would need to work until I got the $175 my phone insurance required.

On my drive home, however, I had a mental shift. I would consider this a social experiment. How long could I go without my phone? Phones have become so integrated in our lives, so I wanted to see how dependent I actually was.

Day 1:

This was starting off well; every time I was “craving” my phone I just asked myself why and my temptation would disappear. I felt oddly liberated and connected with my environment. I also started noticing exactly how much everyone was on their phone. I finally got what the baby boomers were talking about: we are obsessed with these 5” screens.

Day 2:

First road bump: I had to plan to meet up with a friend for coffee who was home from college for the weekend. After technical difficulties on my computers messaging system, I had to try and relearn how to Facebook message. It was frustrating but ultimately we worked it out, and I realized my phone wasn’t that necessary.

Day 3:

Day 3 was a Saturday, and my grandparents were in town, so I had a very relaxed day hanging out with them. I ended day 3 feeling good: I could do this forever.

Day 4:

This was getting old, fast. I missed my alarm clock; I missed being able to check my work schedule; I missed the ability to text my friends. What I didn’t miss was everyone yelling at me for losing my Snapchat streaks. My contrarian personality fueled this experiment; I was more determined than ever to go without my phone.

Day 5:

Second road bump: I didn’t have an alarm and was tardy for school. It was nice to have the extra sleep, but my Spanish teacher and my GPA were not happy with this new, phoneless me. Another important point that I learned: life is unexpected. In the middle of third hour my friend found my phone under, what my publications teacher, Mrs.Rauch would describe as, “a horrible mess” near my computer statio in the publication lab. But my phone was found! With a slightly bittersweet feeling, I plugged my phone in and watched the screen flicker to life. With that, my experiment was complete with a happier and earlier resolution than I  expected.

This doesn’t mean I didn’t learn from my school week without a phone; I learned a lot. We don’t need our phones as much as we say we do. Not having a screen as a crutch made me value human connection more. I also gained a lot of respect to those unlucky souls who grew up before the age of the cell phone because, let’s face it, communication is exponentially easier when you have a device more powerful than the ‘first computer’ in your pocket. Overall, I would call this week a success; I survived a week without my phone.