Sometimes life deals you a hand of cards that absolutely sucks. Well, in my case, I dealt myself a bad deck of cards and had to pay the price.
About two weeks ago, I broke my phone. While I will not disclose how I broke my phone, I will tell you that it stopped working completely. No parts of it shattered but I could only see a black screen on the screen of my phone. It wouldn’t even turn on.
At first, I thought to myself, “Well, shit. This sucks.” But this seemingly unfortunate situation turned out to be an incredible blessing.
Since I no longer had a phone, my only way to communicate was through texting, FaceTime or Snapchat (though I couldn’t open or send snaps). This left me with only one choice: dealing with the fact that I would have to look like an absolute goober carrying a laptop around to communicate in today’s digital age.
While I did look like a goober, I gained an incredible amount of time from not checking my phone 24/7. With this extra time, I was able to stay more present in the moment, do more activities I enjoy and get tons of schoolwork done.
Staying present in the moment proved to be the most beneficial part of not having a phone. A day or two after my catastrophic loss, my first test occurred at a date party. I went without any form of communication, which can turn complicated if you lose who you came with.
Going out with no phone felt freeing. I never felt that anxiety that someone is texting me or that I am needed elsewhere. I felt like the moment was exactly where I needed to be. I engaged in better conversations, took in the sights, smells and sounds of the environment and just felt better about myself since I wasn’t constantly checking my phone.
In a similar fashion, my time in the gym or time working at Bar 1868 felt more satisfying without a phone. My workouts went quicker and challenged me more, because I focused less on what music I needed playing or checking what Snapchats I’d received. At work, I felt like I could engage with customers and co-workers more and like I was working harder. This, in turn, made my shifts feel quicker and made me feel proud of the work I’d done that night.
Now that I have my phone back, I can’t help but feel a little bit of a weight back on my shoulders. The constant urge to check my phone has returned. I’ve been fighting it as much as I can and I hope my experience without a phone will remind me to unplug and stay present in the moment.
Some steps I am going to take to reduce my phone usage (and hope you will try as well) include the following:
First, do not check Snapchat. I do not need to see a picture of someone’s forehead every two minutes.
Second, put your phone in a different room. You’ll be amazed at how much time you gain back if you leave your phone at home during a workout or put it in a different room when you try to study.
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Finally, try going out or hanging out with friends phoneless and encourage friends to do the same. The conversations will flow, you could learn something new about someone and even meet a new person who could impact your life greatly.
10/10 recommend breaking your phone and living off your laptop.