Our generation is one that is very attached to their phones. While phones are awesome and a great advancement in technology, many people say that since the invention of phones – specifically the smartphone – our generation has lost some of its ability to socially interact with others. Now, I love a good challenge and I am one of those few people that actually like calling their friends, so I was excited to try a week without texting. But, one day in and I was ready to give up. Seriously what did people do before texting?!
I had hidden my main group chat so that I wouldn’t get constant notifications that would tempt me into texting. The hardest part was not reading or responding to those texts. I felt so out of the loop! I had to call or seek out my friends, just so I could ask when we were going to get dinner. I never realized how dependent I was on texting and this experience has shown me that group chats are ~blessings~.
I also never realized how hard it is to call someone when you can’t text. On Tuesday, I tried to call my mom to see when a good time would be to FaceTime, but I got her voicemail, so I left a message. Then when she called me back I was in the library, so she got my voicemail and I tried to call her when she was leaving me a message, so I left her another message. Honestly, phone tag is infuriating! By the end of Day 2, I had almost 100 unread text messages and seeing the notification at the bottom of my screen was one of the most stressful parts of this challenge.
I will admit that I did cheat on Day 3. I had a group project and couldn’t find another way around not texting. I did keep the texting at a minimum, really just using it to let the group know that I could make it to our meeting. I have no idea how people would have coordinated before texting and group chats. They make everything so much easier it’s really incredible.
By Day 4, I realized I had to find some other form of communication besides calling so I turned to email: the snail mail of the modern age. This did make things a lot easier. I could now email friends to confirm a time to talk, check to see what time dinner was, or let people know that I was not ignoring them. This was still not as reliable as texting. It would take a few hours for people to respond and even then, email is not a platform you feel comfortable enough going back and forth on as easily as you would with texting.
On Day 5, I had 286 unread text notifications and I was so grateful that this challenge was almost over. I (barely) made it. Would I do it again? I probably would not give up texting again, but I survived and honestly, it was not the worst thing in the world. I realized that I do love getting to hear my friends’ voices, especially my friends from home who I haven’t talked to in a few weeks. However, I also realized that texting is not just a convenience, but a necessity. If no one texted this would not be the case, but because practically everyone texts, many people find it annoying to have to resort to calling in order to get in touch with you. Texting has also made it easier to reach out to groups and to share information at the same time, so realistically I do not think it would be possible for the average college student to not text.