I’ve Started Sticking My Phone in a Drawer on Sundays & This is What Happened

Three Sundays ago, I woke up and was sick of my phone. I was tired of holding it, tired of constantly responding to texts, tired of knowing what people were doing all of the time, and tired of people knowing what I was doing all of the time. On the way out of my dorm around 10 am, I impulsively stuck my phone in a drawer and shut the door. 

Confusion started to seep in when I got into the car. I pressed Bluetooth a couple of times only to realize that there was nothing to connect to. Then, I remembered how my best friend had made me a few CDs, so I opened up my glove compartment and started listening to a bop I hadn’t listened to since 8th grade. My first stop before church was the coffee shop, where I ordered a beautifully made latte. It was so beautiful that I immediately wanted to take a photo, only to realize that I didn’t have my phone with me. So instead, I simply sat outside and enjoyed it, without documentation.

My whole day went similarly. Every time I experienced joy or saw something beautiful, I had a compulsion to get out my phone and tell someone about it or take a picture. It’s not that I don’t think taking photos is great, because I do! But throughout the day, I realized that I started to feel things more. I tasted the lemon in my salad, felt the sun beam on my shoulders, experienced the joy of a friend doing something funny. I wasn’t documenting everything, but I did feel like I was experiencing more.

I’ve always been a little annoyed by the quick, fix-all, “put up your phone!” remark, and that’s not what I’m advocating for. I’m advocating for mindfulness, for putting up my phone as an act of resistance towards a society that measures meaning and fulfillment in returned calls and likes. Before I’ve even breathed in and breathed out, I’ve already checked the weather, my emails, and read something funny on twitter. Why can’t I just ask my roommate what the weather is and why can’t I just get dressed first and then check my phone? The power of refusing to double-task, to be fully invested in what we’re eating, who we’re talking to, and what we’re experiencing has ultimately led to more fulfilling Sundays, which has led to a better week. Lately, I've been asking myself, "who is benefitting from this?" If it's not me or people I'm close to, then I re-evaluate why I'm doing that specific thing. I don't see anyone benefitting from me constantly having my phone on my person; I only see the need to live up to society's ridiculous expectations for us to always be "on top of it." I want to experience life fully-lived and fully messy, which doesn't always fit into an Instagram caption. And when it does, I want to enjoy the perfection and beauty of that moment in its entirety––and not behind a screen.