Blogpost: The day I went without my phone by Rachel Garner
We welcome Rachel Garner to our merry band of bloggers. The title gives you an idea of the challenge Rachel set for herself.
“AS incredible as the phones of today are, with apps for almost anything, there are also huge downsides. Addiction, being the most common of those. In fact, in a survey that one thousand people took in the UK, it was said that almost 66% of people were actually physically afraid of losing or being separated from their phone. I, unfortunately, suffer from the issue of being addicted to my phone.
As awful as it sounds to be so obsessed with a material thing, my phone is an important possession of mine; it constantly keeps me in the loop and up to date with everything, to do with my friends, family, school, and the media. If I’m not on my phone, I’ll be listening to music from it or it’ll be in my pocket. To be completely honest, I think there has probably only been a few days in the five years I’ve had a phone when I’ve gone out without it. Recently, I chose to go out with my family and leave my phone at home.
When I told my mum, she laughed and didn’t believe me, or even understand why I was doing it, but I thought I’d see what it was like. Concluding on this experience I can only wonder how people actually go through life without a phone. Whilst in the car, it felt odd to not have earphones in and my own music blaring, and to not feel my phone vibrate in my pocket every few seconds. I even used the watch that I wear every day to find out what the time was, instead of getting my phone out to check like I usually do! Whilst walking down the street, I must’ve patted my pocket about ten different times to feel for my phone and each time felt a surge of panic before I realised that I hadn’t brought my phone out to start with. I hadn’t realised what a habit it’d become.
Before leaving the house without a phone I assumed I’d get a sense of relief and that it’d feel nice being disconnected from social media for a whole day, but every so often I’d feel a pang of regret, thinking, ‘I should’ve brought my phone, I want to take a picture of that.’ Or ‘I just remembered that thing I wanted to tell that person, but I can’t!’ By the time I was home I’d missed countless messages and notifications and had to spend about half an hour catching up on everything I’d missed! Despite the fact that leaving my phone at home caused no major problems, I did feel a bit lost without it, and actually missed it!
Admittedly, since that day I’ve been trying to rely less and less on my phone, and focus on real life, but I don’t think there will ever be a time where I’ll fully function without a phone. I have recently been leaving it in my room when I’ve been at home, and trying not to use it as much when I’m out, but it has become in a way a necessity in my life. Every day I use it to check the weather, guide me when I’m walking somewhere unfamiliar, look at train times and so on; it’s even become my alarm clock! I’d definitely recommend to anybody to try, if you have the opportunity, to go a day or even longer without a phone. As unappealing and useless as it may sound, it really shows just how addicting technology can be and our dependence on it, but also that at the end of the day, you do not actually need it!