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I lost my phone during the last week of my senior year of high school. I didn’t have a phone through prom, graduation, or any of the overly-romanticized high school moments everyone dreams of capturing with their beloved iPhone. Though I thought not having a phone for such a long period of time would be horrible, I experienced a complete change in my habits and priorities over those six weeks. Throughout high school, I would use my phone pretty frequently. I kept Snapchat streaks, commented on everyone’s Instagram posts, and held active text conversations. But once I lost my phone, I was disconnected. I didn’t have the means to be holding twenty different conversations at once. I didn’t have my phone to fall back on to entertain me in awkward or boring situations. I didn’t have a distraction during times of impatience. 

Once I finally bought a new phone again, I looked back on my last six weeks and realized it was actually a good experience. I needed a cleanse from technology and social media. I was wasting time on pointless conversations with people I barely knew. So I stopped putting all my time and energy into texting and Snapchat streaks. I realized my phone was a big distraction and a poor substitute for quality in-person time. I quit using my phone in the company of others and always tried to be present. Most of all, I honestly lost interest in what seemed to be what my world revolved around. Taking a step back allowed me to see that I needed to devote my time and efforts toward other priorities. I wanted to spend less time in the digital world and more time in the real one; advancing my education, relationships, mental health, and so much more. 

[bf_image id="m45g8cfgmvgbzwgw4fscsv9"] Fast forward to the present day and I’m not too sure where the line is when it comes to being on your phone too much and not using it enough. I am constantly surrounded by people who are on their phones when we hang out and are zoned out from the present because of it. Lately, I’ve been thinking about if that's even considered a bad thing anymore. Since I lost my phone, I barely use my new one anymore, something I was proud of at one point. But now I have moved away to college, where I have close family and friends all in different places. To be frank, I am not the best at keeping in touch with the people who I care about. I am a late responder, I always forget to reply to texts, and I don’t keep tabs on anyone who isn’t physically in my everyday life. Those same people who I find to be distracted in-person are also the same people who are great about communicating over text and reaching out to maintain relationships over the phone. 

Technology is taking over the society we live in and communication is mainly through our phones nowadays. I cannot fully distance myself from my phone and expect all my relationships to thrive. It is so difficult to find a balance in how often you use your phone, and I still haven’t found it, but facing that struggle is okay. It is hard to appreciate quality time while also using your phone for the better. Our world is ever-so-fast in its development and our relationships with technology will constantly be changing, but as long as you find a healthy balance for yourself there is no right answer to the question. Being on your phone has its advantages, but don’t let it get in the way of reality. 

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Priya is a second year student at UC Davis majoring in Political Science and Sociology with the hopes of becoming a lawyer in the future. In her free time, she loves to dance, listen to podcasts, and craft gifts for her friends. She's excited to be a part of the HerCampus team and hopes you enjoy reading her articles!
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