Editorial

Based on a True Story: A “Phone Fasting”

By AMELIA ROWE

In Focus Editor

 

  Our entire lives are in our phones. Pictures from trips, phone numbers of friends, and social media posts all contribute to what we absorb on a daily basis from our screens. Although many people of Generation Z do not know a time without phones, I decided to prove that I could make it a day without looking at mine. In fact, I relinquished all screen time and managed to survive a day without it.

  On the night of Nov. 17, I begrudgingly handed my phone to my sister, after sending out streaks on Snapchat. Knowing that my streaks would disappear in 24 hours persisted in the back of my mind as I went to bed, but I came to find that nothing bad would really happen if they went away. The little numbers are mere indicators of seeing my friends’ faces everyday, so losing them wouldn’t be the end of the world. After this little enlightenment, I reached for my nightstand to set an alarm but remembered that my phone was unattainable for the time being. I yelled for my mom to wake me up at 8 a.m. and peacefully went to sleep.

  Instead of hearing the usual piercing shrieks of my phone alarm, I was gently awakened with soothing words. The next thing I realized was that at this time, I generally go through social media. However, I just sat up in bed and stared out my window. Not being bombarded with hundreds of words, yesterday’s news, and numerous pictures felt sincerely refreshing as I walked downstairs to eat breakfast.

  As for the rest of the day, I found myself periodically reaching for my phone. When I waited in line for my chai latte and sat in my car while getting gas, I almost had to force myself to not fidget with something. As a high school senior, my weekends are hardly ever free; however, I usually scroll through Instagram or Snapchat friends throughout my activities. I felt like I had much more time to myself, but I also noticed that I wasn’t interacting with people as much as I do. I couldn’t send good morning texts and little check-ins, which made me feel somewhat disconnected from the people I care about.

  When my sister handed back my phone, I only checked my emails and text messages. I was comforted by the fact that I knew I didn’t need to go on my phone. Although many might claim that this experiment was trivial, I genuinely experienced an eye-opening day. It is rare to see anybody without their phones at the ready, which goes to show that our society is truly addicted to screens. However, we are not beyond hope as long as we can all realize that we own our phones, not the other way around.

 

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