I Gave up My Phone for a Weekend and Here’s What Happened

I'll be the first one to admit that I am addicted to my phone. I always have it with me, I check it all the time, and I can’t help but feel so lost when it loses battery. There was a time, not that long ago, when people didn't have smartphones constantly with them. I wanted to try my best to experience this past life and spend two or three days without my phone by my side. So this past weekend, I challenged myself to give up my phone from Saturday to Sunday to see how it would affect me.

Immediately I realized I had to find different ways to pass the time. When I wake up in the morning I go on my phone and I scroll through my social media profiles and watch YouTube videos for about an hour. Instead, after waking up, I sat at my computer and read the news. It was actually nice to change up what I do while I sip my coffee. 

I sat outside and just watched my surroundings for almost an hour. On Saturdays I have class and the one day I didn’t have my phone was the day class ended an hour early. If this happened any other weekend I would have called up my ride and gone home the second class ended. Since I could not use my phone, I had no choice but to wait the hour for my brother to come pick me up. Plot twist: I didn’t hate it! It was a beautiful morning and I really enjoyed having that time completely to myself – even though I was stuck on campus on a Saturday.

I made plans and actually stuck to them. Usually my Saturdays are pretty casual and my poor boyfriend has to wait an eternity for me to get ready because I take so long. The time I took to get ready was essentially cut in half because I didn’t stop to scroll through my phone after each step in my routine. Normally when I finally have myself together, my boyfriend receives the lazy “I’m on my way” text but this weekend he actually received a call from me confirming our plans. This made me realize that if I stayed off my phone while I prepped myself, I could leave around the time I always say I will.

I was more attentive. My phone is definitely a distraction for me so it was nice to do something so simple as watching TV without being on my phone at the same time. It really made me question my old habits. Why do I feel the need to be on my phone while I’m binge watching a show? It’s literally more enjoyable when I am able to follow the storyline.

I was way more productive. Without being able to waste my time on my phone, I had nothing better to do than get some work done and even organize some things I have been meaning to for a while. Procrastination is something that I am seriously guilty of, and this weekend has made me realize that my phone is a big contributor.

A downside to this weekend was that I felt totally disconnected and even a little lonely. Even though it can be a bit impersonal at times, I really missed being able to text people that I care about. I don’t get to see my friends everyday so the main way that we all communicate is through Snapchat. I had to surrender my snap to my sister for the weekend to keep my streaks alive and it honestly made me a little sad that I was missing out on all the funny things my friends send me.

I also lost the convenience that comes with having a smartphone. When I wanted to do something as simple as check the weather, I couldn’t just pull out my phone and check the app. It’s so small (and just a few years ago I wasn’t relying on my phone for everything) but it did not make it any less annoying.

Overall, this was a positive experience. It was refreshing to have one less distraction in my life, and it felt really good to challenge myself. It helped me learn the importance of balance and being aware of how much I'm on my phone. Smartphones are a part of everyday life now, but it's up to us to not let them get in the way of our peace and productivity. I promise if you find that stability, you'll understand when it's the right time to connect and when it's the right time to disconnect. 


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