Um so somehow I just survived almost 2 weeks without any phone.
Two Wednesday’s ago, I dropped my phone face down on the tile floor at work. I drop my phone all the time. In fact i dropped it like two months ago and the screen shattered so the GF fixed it for me. SO when I dropped it again, no one was surprised.
((Now before you think anything, I’ll have you know that I have a case around my phone and one of those screen protectors. Telling people “you should get a case” is not helpful. Thanks but no thanks.))
Anyway the phone got stripe-y and then blacked out and wouldn’t turn on again. Quite inconveniently, my mother and the GF were out of town for 4 more days so they had no way to contact me unless I was at home on the computer. It was hella stressful. I debated whether I should get a cheap pay as you go phone, should I see if there are videos about people who have dealt with this and fixed it easy? Do we replace the screen again?
Long story short a friend had an old phone that she didn’t need anymore and since it was the same model but a different carrier, the GF used the old phone for parts, made a Franken-phone, and now it works!
But the actual experience was not what I expected.
People do this all the time, there are people who live without smartphones for financial sake or personal preference, and there are people who regularly use smartphones and give them up for a week just to see if they can handle it. There are countless articles of people who go through this and present their findings. Usually they say that they spent more time face to face with people, or that they read more, or hiked more, or that they appreciated life more. And.. well, after going through it myself, I’ve come to the conclusion that those people must not do anything other than their phones because I didn’t see a significant difference in my day to day life.
The biggest inconveniences were not being able to check when my bus was coming, and not feeling safe on my walk back home. Usually I have my phone in one pocket and my keys in the other. Being able to call an emergency service or friends for help is a huge source of comfort for me, and often my anxiety was pulsating the whole way home. Other than that, I still had Facebook, I just couldn’t check it as often. I usually read on the bus anyway so it’s not like I got a huge influx of free time. I did miss being able to take photos whenever I wanted, and I missed listening to my music. Other than those few things it wasn’t overly traumatic. I don’t text very often as it is, and none of my friends are off the grid, so if I can’t access them on my phone there are probably three other websites that I could get to them through.
I do think that we put too much value into our phones, but considering how much we invest in using them it makes sense. We pay for the phone, we pay monthly to use the phone, we buy apps, we buy things through the phone, we buy it accessories, we store our lives and our memories on this little device – the idea of losing that randomly is terrifying. But it is also just a phone. And if you are someone who is scared to the core of how they would function without one, you might be the very person who should take a voluntary break. You’re probably stronger than you think, and besides, who knows how much free time you have hiding?