I know what you’re thinking, and I’d think the same. “Wow, a 19-year-old girl without a phone. Boohoo. Grow up.” But hear me out.
That’s the thing, losing access to my phone was like putting on glasses: it’s forced my eyes to see a clearer picture of what society is becoming.
Yes, everyone uses their phones for everything, and that’s completely obvious. What we barely realize is that this great feeling of incompleteness without our own personal gadgets is, for the most part, a result of the current technological revolution and all of the roses and thorns that come along with it. The scariest part? Society is grooming us to rely on our phones for everything.
With our phones, we are dependent.
Need to contact people? Call them. Forgot your password for something? They’ll text it to you. Want to make an online purchase? It could be a scammer; to proceed, insert the pin number sent via SMS. Not sure how to get somewhere? Google maps. Want to remember something? Notes app. Want to check the time? Clock app. Want to listen to some music? Pay $5 per month for every song that exists. Want to capture a beautiful moment forever? Snap a photo with your phone camera. Want to know absolutely anything at all? Google it.
By now, you get the point. You know how it is.
Ten years ago, I was nine years old. I was in third grade, and I remember reading Time Magazine for Kids in school. One day, we examined the technology edition, and on the front cover was the very first iPhone ever created. I remembered looking at it as if it were a new species of wildlife. No one knew what to expect, but it left us awestruck with wonder. “Wow, I bet only billionaires can afford this,” I thought to myself. It took my breath away. “I wonder if I’ll ever be able to have one.”
Five years later, everyone had one.
In seven years’ time, I had one, too.
In retrospect, life was simpler back then. I was just a child who didn’t need a phone for anything. I emailed my friends. My parents chauffeured me everywhere. I wrote reminders on lined paper. I read the analog clocks in school, I listened to the car radio, and I captured my favorite pictures with my disposable camera. Google was just the search engine we used for research projects. Apples were just the fruits we ate during snack time.
University life is different. No one my age checks their emails. Lined paper costs money. Analog clocks have vanished into thin air. I haven’t seen a radio or disposable camera in stores for years. Google has become the epitome of a student’s life in every way, not only for academics, but also for adjusting to the new location and university environment. Apples are so much more than just fruit.
It appears to be convenient when you’re dependent on one little device to solve all of your problems. However, when you lose that device, your whole world crumbles beneath you, and you begin to wonder how you’ll ever adjust to these new living conditions.
This world is becoming more and more digital, and its people are scrambling to keep up with the newest technological trends and devices. They don’t have a choice. Or at least it seems that way.
Needless to say, I’ve lost my phone, but I’ve regained my humanity. I think of the days from before I even had a phone. Most of my friends had phones by the end of elementary school, but I finally got my first one in high school. I always felt like the one who was missing out, but, in reality, I was the one with the unique perspective on life that no one else could relate to. I am grateful for that now, and it’s refreshing to remember what things were like back then.
Such a technological sabbatical makes me wonder what life was like before the internet replaced libraries and before black mirrors became more common than clear ones. I wonder what life was like when you had to knock on people’s doors to talk to them, read AAA’s paper road maps to plan a journey, and carry pocket calendars and journals to remember plans and important dates. It must have been tiresome, but it sure must have been fascinating.
It’s been four days and counting since I’ve lost access to a phone. On one hand, I feel disconnected from the world. On the other hand, I feel reconnected to it.
(If you’re wondering what happened to my phone, truth be told, I don’t actually know! It died a few days ago, but I couldn’t revive it with a few hours of charging. Finally, an Apple technician declared it officially deceased on Monday afternoon at 5:36 P.M due to “internal burning.” In lieu of flowers, please pay respect by giving this post a “like.” :’)
Thanks for reading! I know it’s been a while. This year has been so busy! I promise I’ll post some more updates soon. Bye for now!
♥ Carly ♥