How to Feel Less Lonely

I’ve had the craziest last three weeks, and it’s actually led to me to feel less lonely. I don’t know if everyone will have the same results, but I also don’t think that people will go to the same extent as I did. This wasn’t even on purpose.

What did I do, you ask?

I can officially say that I have now gone three weeks without a cell phone. I woke up one day, and my phone decided to simply stop turning on. It was charged--I checked. It wasn’t the charger either--I checked that, too. Not having a phone was a major challenge to accomplishing simple everyday tasks that our society takes for granted.

The Cons:

  • I set up a meeting with someone at 10 AM, only to realize at 9:30 AM that I was in class from 9:30 until 10:45. Of course this was a major problem, so the only reasonable thing to do was to leave class at 9:58, have people assume I went to the bathroom, walk all the way to where I was supposed to meet this person, explain the situation, and walk back to class. Thankfully the buildings were close enough that it only took me about four minutes.
  • Everything that I had written in my notes app was all gone, i.e., the list of books that I’ve read, certain events that I wrote about to help me remember each amazing detail, the long list of animes I’ve watched, my notes for my Rat Lab... It was all gone.
  • I could no longer lie in my bed at night watching I Love Lucy before I fell asleep.
  • Pinterest was no longer a quick option to look up crafty ideas or delicious recipes.
  • I couldn’t instantly text a person to hang out or to get food with me. I was limited to asking only the people who were within walking distance.
  • Worst of all, I had no more Snapchat to keep up my streaks. This proved to be the most difficult, but because I was so determined to keep my streaks, I found a friend each day who graciously let me log into my Snapchat account with their phone. My highest streak is now still going strong at 230.

Being without a phone was like being in a house when the power goes out--it’s dark outside, and you need to find a flashlight, so what else is there to do besides turn on the light to see? It’s a problem. That’s what having no phone was like. I’d go to look something up on the Google app only to realize that I couldn’t. However, there was something really refreshing about not having to be connected to my phone twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

The Pros:

  • I was able to calm my mind faster without getting overwhelmed with all of the things that I had to do the next day, and I was able to fall asleep quicker.
  • I didn’t have that feeling of obligation to text someone back as soon as I heard that bing when I got a new message.
  • I became A LOT more productive. I didn’t necessarily get more homework done; however, I did read about three books from start to finish. (Who knew books were so much like TV?)
  • I often lost track of time. This sounds like a bad thing, but in fact, it was actually really nice to take a break from my usual go, go, go schedule. (It was nice to have a watch though, to make sure I wasn’t late for my classes.)
  • Most of all, this led me to interact with more people. I even made new friends through all of this.

I found that without a phone, I had to actually get up and go to a person if I had to talk to them. When I went to clubs and meetings, I found that I was in no rush to get back because there wasn’t much else that I could do, so I stayed places longer and had decent conversations with people. Face to face interaction is something that has become so limited in recent years; because of all of this though, I realized that I began to feel less lonely. The impact it had was greater than I expected it to be.

It’s kind of like “duh, I could’ve told you that if you talked to more people you’d be less lonely;” but if it’s so simple, then why don’t more people get up and interact with others face to face more often?