I went a month without a phone, here’s what happened

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By — Njeri Jackson

I would like to make a disclaimer. I did NOT choose to go this whole time without a phone, this was most definitely not a choice. About a month ago, my phone decided to die just out of the blue. The struggle was real, but at the end of the day I think it was a healthy thing for me in the end run. So here’s a little bit of a look into what happened last month.

Week 1 — Annoyance

The 1st week was the easiest week. I was just annoyed by the little things I couldn’t do. I wasn’t really that worried about what was going to happen, because I was in the mindset that this would all be resolved within the week. I wasn’t even panicked when I found out that my phone had completely died. I legitimately thought that I would have gotten it replaced within the week, but that clearly didn’t happen.

Week 2 — Going Mad

Week 2 was a rather crazy week for me. I had adjusted to not having a phone, but it was aggravating. I was stuck in my own thoughts most of the time, which was somewhat depressing. I couldn’t block out all my worries, opinions, angers, etc with music or talking to my friends. I pretty much had nothing to distract me. Like I couldn’t rant to my friends, which I do on a daily basis, and  I was “alone with myself” essentially. I had to “face” my own thoughts, which I think ultimately was a good thing, but at the time it sure wasn’t. Let’s just say it was an emotional rollercoaster that week.

Week 3 — At Peace

Week 3 I took a different approach to the issue. I didn’t really think much about the things on my phone that week, I actually took the time to make peace with things away from technology, excluding school of course. I took some incredibly tranquille walks in my neighborhood, which is very large, with my dog, and really enjoyed the peace and quiet. I began to see the little things as something bigger, something to appreciate. Like, when did the stars get so beautiful? When did fall become so lovely? It was an outstanding time for my mental health, I reached a point of peace in mind that I hadn’t previously experienced, and I’d say this was the best week in this whole ordeal.

Week 4 — Ok, When is This Going to be Over?

By week 4 I was at the end of my patience with this. Things weren’t even inconvenient at this point. I was missing all the things that were important to me in life that kept me sane during this whole covid thing. I had been wanting to apply for a job and I needed the phone so I could actually get out there. By this week, there was actually progress with getting my phone, but it is still slow as we enter week 5.

What I Learned

I learned that I heavily relied on my phone and what it provided me so much, that when it was gone I felt like I had lost almost all of the best aspects of my life. I think that a phone is very useful and has numerous benefits, but I think that today, as proved by my experience, people are a bit too attached to their phones. It is important to make sure that overall happiness doesn’t mostly come from one thing, it should come from multiple. After I spent time away from a phone, I took some time for some self-development and learned to appreciate so many other things. I think being away from all the crazy stuff happening in the world (I read the news a lot) and other people’s problems really contributed to my better mental health. I was forced to focus more on myself and my own ideas, emotions, and thoughts. All of which sounds uncomfortable, and something to avoid, but sometimes you have to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation to help change you. I found my confidence reached an all time high, my grades got better, my relationship with my siblings got better, and my overall mental health was boosted by this experience.

Final Thoughts

To sum this all up, I had a very difficult, but also impactful time. I dealt with so much these past four weeks, and I honestly I’m happy that it happened because it helped me really grow as a person. I encourage giving up your phone for a certain amount of time, you never know how much it could change your life