No calls. No texts. No alarms or reminders from an app. That was my life this past week here on campus.
Now, I am not the type of guy who needs to have my phone on me at all times, but as a student in business, I certainly use my phone for everyday things. For example, I always schedule out my day on my calendar app and I have reminders that tell me when I need to leave for class. Snapchat was even a productive tool for me because my friends and I would make our dinner plans through the chat function. So, when my phone broke and became unusable, my day-to-day processes were altered.
I could have just bought a new phone that day, but I decided I would take a week and try to do things the “old-fashioned” way. This includes (but is not limited to), writing down meetings in a planner, whistling to pass the time while waiting for a friend, and showing up at dinner with the hopes that I know someone in the cafeteria. I was worried that after a week like this I would feel out of the loop, but what I realized was that I actually started to feel more connected to people.
I found that when I spent time with others, I was more involved in our exchanges and I cared more about what was going on in their life. I appreciated hearing stories more. I felt less self-conscious about little things and was able to be more confident throughout the day. Also, I became more productive when I sat down to study – there was not a screen across the desk to distract me.
My phone-fast is coming to an end soon, I am planning on getting a new one within the next couple of days. I am not saying that going offline is the right option for everyone, but it may be worth a try if you are having a hard time focusing while studying or if you find yourself feeling blue after browsing through your Instagram feed. This past week taught me to place less value on my phone, and to invest more into my work and my friends here on campus.