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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

One grey Wednesday, I was having one of those days where I couldn’t concentrate in the library despite being fully snack equipped, hot drink ready, to-do list waiting and Hallward window seat secured.
I had a productive morning doing small jobs, to procrastinate the dreadfully big task of starting my essay, which was due within the next week. I thought I deserved a quick break from the busy morning I’d had up until that point, but my ‘quick’ break turned into endless hours scrolling through socials because I just didn’t want to do my essay. I was having difficulty concentrating, so I thought if I went to the toilet, a quick stretch would help me out and I could come back a changed woman – and I wasn’t exactly wrong.

I watched my beloved phone fall from balancing on top of the toilet roll holders into the toilet. The panic didn’t kick in till I made my way back to my seat and couldn’t get my phone to turn on, by which point the stress of the whole day got to me, and I quietly burst into tears. So I decided to call it a day. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I was emotional the rest of the day as my housemates told me to just put it in rice and I’d be okay because I was fixated on how badly my day had gone having left the house in high hopes.

I was able to stay in touch with people and continue my streak on Duolingo by using my laptop and I started to realise how dependent I’ve become on my phone. I had to unlearn automatic behaviours, like how often I mindlessly scroll while doing other things and I used my phone to waste my time.

With my essay still waiting to be written, I had no easy distractions to not be able to do it, which made it so much easier to concentrate, though I struggled at first. I noticed more scenery on my walk to campus, background noises and conversations, and noticed the people who were around me. I had to ask people the time as I don’t own a watch. I spent my free time being more creative, which made me happier. I managed to change my mindset to look for the positives in the situation instead of the negative because there was nothing I could change about what had happened.

I was lucky enough to have been given a replacement phone a few days later, but I’m happy to say I’m not dependent on it as I once was. I’m grateful to have a phone again, but I can’t help but feel embarrassed that it took me such a tragedy to even realise how attached I was.

If you’re in need of a phone detox, you could turn it off for a few hours, or a day, and put it at the back of a drawer, or under some clothes in your wardrobe, so you’re less tempted to go digging around for it. Or if you’re feeling really committed you could do what I did, but I don’t recommend the toilet method.

Deniz Kalayci-Clow

Nottingham '24

Deniz Kalayci-Clow is the co-editor at the Nottingham chapter of Her Campus, she oversees and guides her team of writers, reading and editing a range of topics in weekly articles and publishing them on the website. Her interests include supporting local businesses by introducing fellow readers to the creative corners and helping them feel more comfortable by guiding them through the city. She is currently a final year English student at the University of Nottingham. In her free time, she balances work, creative outlets like art, tries out different forms of exercise, and makes use of any excuse to have a sweet treat to get through the day.