Last week, out of nowhere, my phone broke. One minute, I was ‘gramming, the next, dead. Devastating. In the following minutes I stared into space, wondering what I did with life before my hand-held computer. Did I have lots of thoughts? Did I write in a journal? Also, how do I stand at bus stop next to someone I kind of know without pretend-texting? In fact, how do I handle any kind of awkwardness without my phone? How do I stalk the cute guy in my class’ Snapstory? How do I call my mother? Will I die?
Wait… what? Why is the screen black? Maybe if I hit it against a wall it will come to life? Okay, now it’s very broken. Maybe I should take the sim card out? Are sim cards still a thing? Ahhhhh!
Okay, it’s been an hour of life without my phone and I’m doing pretty well! I don’t know whether that guy responded to my text, and I don’t care – I’m off the grid! Everyone is going to think I am so cool and mysterious. I am way above society right now. Maybe I’ll go for a nice music-less walk and have a long hard think, and then I’ll eat some quinoa and do some undisturbed, phone-less study. God I’m productive.
It’s been a few days of carrying my computer around so I can Facebook message my friends, and this is getting ridiculous. I look like an idiot. Also, I don’t know my mother’s phone number off by heart. Is that weird? What happened to home phones? How is it 2015 already?
It’s been a week, and I have (somewhat) adjusted to my new life. I am so alternative it is kind of ridiculous. Maybe next week I’ll move to the woods and only eat specific leaves that I know aren’t poisonous because I’m super in touch with nature. Or join a monastery. Or wake up at sunrise and meditate on a hill or something. But, honestly, this week without a phone has been pretty great. I am relearning how to be present, how to have a conversation, and how to be bored. I love social media, but too much scrolling through Instagram is pretty damaging to a person’s sanity and self esteem. Although inconvenient at times, my week was a welcome break from the hectic, instantaneous world we live in.
My new phone is on its way, and I won’t lie, I’m looking forward to it. My mother thinks I’m dead, and my boss isn’t too happy, either. But I definitely won’t forget what I learnt. From now on, I will be using the ‘off’ button. Sometimes, you need to go off the grid, to appreciate being on it.