Like most young people these days, my cellphone is my lifeline. Not only is is my preferred form of communication, but I have my entire life scheduled in my calendar and countless apps keeping track of everything from my calorie intake to spending habits. I love being organized and my Crackberry (err…Blackberry) helps me take that to the extreme. Regardless, when I agreed to spend one day without my cellphone (and share the experience with all you text addicts), I thought that it would be no big deal.
Boy, was I wrong.
In the mornings, I usually wake up and grab my phone from my nightstand to see if I have any new texts or emails. After going through those, I get ready for school/work and periodically check my phone for any happenings. Instead, I woke up and just started getting ready. Surprisingly, I was all set for work about 15 minutes earlier and able to pop open my computer and browse the headlines that way.
Once I got to work, I had to explain to my boss that she wouldn’t be able to text or call my cell for the day. She thought the idea was neat but it quickly became clear that my lack of cellphone would put a dent in our day. I work in an office setting and sometimes have to run errands, which the cellphone is handy and/or necessary for. No one could touch base with my when I was outside of the office and while this wasn’t the norm a decade ago, now you’re expected to be available at all times. One perk (at least from my perspective) was not being disturbed on my lunch break. I could eat and read my book in peace!
After work, things became a bit more complicated. I wanted to check with my boyfriend and see if I should come by his house. I know his phone number by heart and gave him a call, but he didn’t answer. He was hanging out with his friend that day, so I figured that they were gaming and he didn’t notice his phone ringing. I tried again and still no answer. With my cell phone, I can text him and know that he will eventually get the message and respond when he can. Using a landline, I had to call him 4 times before he actually answered, which was frustrating. And then I started missing my phone.
I also missed the constant contact with my friends. I have a few friends who I am always texting and it was weird to not know what was happening in their lives from minute to minute. I suppose that it’s unhealthy to be so absorbed in other people’s business and drama, but I feel important when I’m a confidant. We could do all our talking on the phone, but it’s nice to have someone to vent to right after you get chewed out by your boss or have a yelling match with your BF.
Despite the fact that it was fairly easy to go through my daily routine without my cell, I truly missed it. In the afternoon, I actually starting feeling nervous and jittery because I didn’t have it sitting on my desk with me. I’m a bit of a control freak and like to be on top of my messages. I guess I was going through “cell withdrawals,” which, when you think about it, is so sad. Like any addict, I really felt lost without my fix! Trust me, the next morning when I could finally turn my phone back on, I felt a huge relief. I didn’t realize that I was actually addicted to my phone and don’t like that.
Overall, it was nice to a get a break from technology and realize how much I depend on my phone. I’m not an obsessive cell phone user, but it did bother me that I was going through “cell withdrawals.” I’ve decided that I’m going to keep my phone in my room when I’m at home or in my purse when I’m out. I’ll only pull it out when I need to use it instead of having it in my hand or pocket every second, constantly checking for texts or emails. I still love the convenience a cell provides, but know that I will survive without it. And that I need to. No one should be addicted to a stupid phone.
If you have the opportunity to go cell phone-free this summer (a trip is a great chance) I recommend it. I know it’s scary, but it’s also a great chance to realize just how addicted you are and how little you really need it. Plus, it’s just nice to take a break from technology and actually have a conversation with a friend instead of abusing BBM.