I went without a phone for a week and didn’t die

Fun game: guess when the bus is coming

Over spring break, my phone took a dive into some water and that’s all you need to know. The more interesting part is what my life has been like since — phoneless.

Surprisingly, I didn’t die. But day one, I thought I would.

I was constantly reaching for my back pocket, which I’m sure to most people looked like I had the worst of wedgies. When I wasn’t busy reaching for my phone in places it wouldn’t be, I was asking for the time. Yes, I had a watch, but I’m also that person that takes so long to read an analog clock, that by the time I’m done the time has changed. But, I did learn. That was just one of the valuable takeaways of my journey.

I was consumed with thoughts of how many people must have thought I was a goner. I felt detached from the world.

“Maybe I can just carry my dinosaur of a laptop around wherever I go. Maybe I can ask to borrow someone’s phone for a minute — and low-key log into Facebook. Maybe instead of mooching my friends’ food, I can come and mooch their phone. Decisions, decisions,” I thought.

Don’t worry, I may have dropped my phone in the water, but my dignity — I kept. I had too much left to actually put any of these plans into action, so I decided to make the best of an unfortunate situation.

Once I conquered the whole watch illiteracy issue, I actually started to enjoy my time away. My roommate, who so kindly reminded me about the wonderful technology of google hangouts, also helped save my sanity.

Eventually, I came to realize, my days were quite peaceful without the constant buzzing of my phone. I wasn’t thinking about how I have to respond to X soon because Y will tell them I was active 5 minutes ago.

I actually got to look out and enjoy the view of campus on bus rides without fearing I wouldn’t reply to an email fast enough. There was nothing I could do and those extra few minutes that I stressed over so heavily before, really weren’t going to kill me.

Once I had posted on Facebook to alert everyone I hadn’t been eaten by bears or taken by a strange man in a shady van who offered me skittles, I felt a sense of relief that I hadn’t felt since eighth grade.

Besides the fact that I had to check to make it on time to my classes, I realized I didn’t even need to look at my watch so often. I had been acting anxious for no reason.

My parents have always said my phone is like an added ligament for me, and reflecting on it, it was. After this experience, no, not much has changed. If I don’t have my phone in hand, you’re probably looking at my evil twin. However, I now know that I don’t need it and that feeling is priceless.

I would say something inspirational like maybe you should all go phoneless for a week to reach the epiphany I have, but then again — I’d rather you just take my word for it than experience it.

Cherish your phone, but don’t worship it.

Rutgers University