Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Struggle of Life Without a Cell Phone

                Recently while at Pyramid Lake in Nevada, my phone got wet and stopped working. This freaked me out at first because I have never broken a phone before and I knew it would be a little bit of time before I could get my phone replaced. Now, I use my phone quite a bit but I in no way consider myself to be "dependent" on my phone. Still, the knowledge that I would not have access to social media or my music for some time scared me. My phone is how I stay in touch with the vast world around me and being table to use my phone gives me a sense of security in knowing I am connected and can simply turn on my phone whenever i desire to know something or I just want to kill some time. Not having a phone also complicates communications between me and my friends or my family which was also something I was not looking forward to.

               That was over a week ago when I broke my phone and I currently am still without a cellphone. The one thing that has surprised me is how easy it has been for the most part to go without a phone. Slipping my hand in my pocket to grab my phone had almost become a reflex when I had my phone and now that I don't have that access, I have spent a lot more time reflecting as opposed to just occupying my mind. Not having a phone has also forced me to be more active and social, as I can no longer remove myself in the way I could when I did have a phone. The lack of time spent watching a screen has also allowed me to realize just how much I used my phone and depended on it from a mental standpoint. When I had a functioning phone i would listen to music and probe the wide variety of information on social media habitually without much consideration as to how much time I spent doing those things and what I was missing because of that. Not having a phone has allowed me some perspective on how my use of media was becoming a bit of over-use.

            The main changes that have resulted from not having a phone is that I have been forced to communicate more frequently with others face to face and that I have had to just sit and be with myself a lot more. With a phone, I could avoid social interactions that did not necessarily appeal to me because I could pop ear buds in or just look busy on my phone. Not having those means of escape has meant that I have had to be more social with people, at school and not at school. I have also had to spend a lot more time my own head and think about things as a result of not having a phone. Our tendency is to occupy our minds so that we are never alone even when we are. We can always listen to music or check what others are doing on snapchat when we are alone, and in that sense we distract ourselves from having to have nothing to visualize or hear. In this last week, I have had to spend a lot more time truly alone and I have become a bit more conscience of my feeling and thoughts because i can't allude them like I could when i had a phone. Overall, this has been an interesting experience for me and one that allows me to see just how much media and quick access to it has had an effect on my life. 


  1. Life without a cell phone is an idea that frightens me. My social life depends on my ability to text and call people. Not only my social life, but also my school work has depended on my iPhone. How easy it is to text a classmate a question about homework, and receive a response in a matter of minutes. However, without the distraction of immediate access to social media and random information, I wonder how my school work would benefit. In just a week, maybe my attention span would improve a considerable amount. My question for you Joseph, is have you felt any improvement in your attention span and focus since losing you phone?

    1. When I was without a phone I did notice an increase in my attention span because I didn't have the temptation to go on my phone and not be as productive. So yes not having my phone did help me more attentive.

  2. I understand you Joseph. From 5th-7th grade I had a phone but through all of 8th grade I had no phone at all. To me thanks to that time I am not really ever dependent on my phone, however I found other ways to occupy myself without that made me less social than with it. Because a conversation was at your finger tips and you can say things that you wouldn't dare or feel uncomfortable saying in person. Without the phone I would more likely turn away from face to face conversations than with it. That being said I'd still like to see a chart of my life that is amount of my time alive staring at a screen. I feel it would be less than average to people my age born in this time but still surprisingly shocking to me