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Freshmen Problems: Benefits of a Broken Phone

Collegiettes, I broke my phone. No, there’s no cool story to go along with such a tragedy. Didn’t happen at a frat party. Didn’t drop it in a puddle. I was wiping it clean (lightly) with a Clorox wipe. My phone decided to be water damaged (because there’s so much moisture on a Clorox wipe). This is the first time I’ve had my phone broken and it’s been an eye-opening experience.

*Photo from whatwater.com.

Lesson #1: You can survive without social media

Yik Yak. Twitter. Instagram. Snap Chat. I have all the apps and check them constantly. I refresh social media for study breaks, procrastinating, sending messages to my younger sister complete with a million smiley faces. Since these apps are on my phone and I can’t check them, I can’t go on them. And you know what, it’s a relief. I don’t have the constant pressure to be up to date on everything happening to everyone. I don’t have the anxiety of “how many likes will my Insta get?” or “Why didn’t he snap chat me back?” Instead of checking social media for study breaks, I noticed that I’ve gravitated towards using this time to read tons of articles and brush up on the news and what’s going on in the world. So instead of updating myself on the lives of my peers via social media, I’m educating myself on current events. I even read some articles that relate to what I’m learning in class!

Lesson #2: You can exercise without music

I have a playlist that I am constantly updating and editing with what music I’m currently in to. Right now, my playlist consists of some Bruno Mars, a little country, Flo Rida, Calvin Harris and Fall Out Boy. It is common to see me sweating it out on the elliptical and lip-syncing. I like to have a good time when I work out! My music is on my phone so I’ve had to exercise in silence. Even though there was no music pumping through my ears, I have found exercising to be like meditating. In my Psychology class last semester, we meditated for five minutes in the beginning of each class. It took many times before I could keep my mind quiet…at peace…still for the full duration of the meditation practice. No thinking. No worrying about all the work I had yet to complete. Just a still mind. That’s how exercising is without music. In fact, in one of my brief moments where I was thinking while working out, I brainstormed this article. The idea just came to me because I wasn’t preoccupied with anything else. My workout felt like it flew by and my body and mind felt refreshed at the end.

*Photo from lewishowes.com.

Lesson #3: You can unplug from feeling like you have to communicate with everyone all the time

I sometimes get anxiety when texting tons of people: trying to come up with a plan for a Friday night, having those weeks-long conversations with friends back in Chicago, getting updates on boy drama. There is so much communicating that we can do by texting but sometimes it does get overwhelming to try to keep up and say the right response and analyze the meaning of the messages. It’s so much more exciting to hear about news like boy drama in person over dinner at the pit or make plans with the whole group in one room while watching the movie Mulan before getting ourselves ready for our evening plans. As much as texting makes communicating more efficient and faster, nothing beats those classic face-to-face conversations.

Being unplugged for the past few days has been liberating. I’m crossing all my fingers that I can get my phone fixed when I go home for Spring Break, but everything does happen for a reason. Now, I know “don’t clean your phone with a Clorox wipe.” But at the same time, it’s been refreshing to have a break from technology!

*Cover photo from thaomusic.com.

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