For the better part of the last month, I’ve been without a phone. There’s a huge difference in that statement depending on where you’re at in your life. So to a majority of teenagers and well established adults; this might not be for you, but I encourage you to read on anyways. My phone “bricked”, for those of you that may not understand new hip hop lingo, that’s a fancy way to say it’s been reduced to a paperweight. My phones broken, it wasn’t damaged from dropping, from water, or any other of the common mishaps that plague cellular communication. I was visiting with friends and it literally stopped working in my hand, it shut off and never fully turned back on, just an infinite boot logo loop. One of the perks of being in a global pandemic is the obnoxiously lengthy shipping times, and the fact that ALL Apple stores are closed so you can forget bringing your product in to the “Apple Geek Squad”.
Anyways, this post isn’t to further beat the horse that is COVID but rather touch on being disconnected from social media, from news outlets, from the 5 minute distractions used as fillers for my life. I’m not going to sit here and preach to you about how eye opening or enlightening it is to not be connected, I miss my phone, but I wanted to touch on what it was like for me.
Before I go on, I have an Apple Watch with cell service so I’m still able to receive calls and Apple messages. Other than that, i’m completely off the grid unless I’m connected to WiFi with my laptop. “Okay” and “I got this” with some added expletives is what I was thinking when this first happened. The first night was easy though, I was already out with my friends, I was having a good time, I wasn’t bored, I worked the next morning so it’s not as if my night was going to get crazy anyways.
The next day I worked, no big deal. Except I work 24 hour shifts. So one full day of not being attached to a screen, which is honestly how I spent most of my time prior to my phone bricking. The first obstacle I ran into was navigation for work, Id have no problem finding the initial pick up location with my partner riding shotgun, but the second he goes to the back and i’m left up front to drive. So like any young adult I do my best to circumvent having to use the GPS in the glove box that hasn’t been updated in the past 3 years. My solution? Apparently the watch can do navigation independently from your cell phone. I was slowly learning that the “quality of life” device on my wrist was more advanced that I had previously thought.
They had essentially put a cellphone on your wrist. Minus a few flaws, rather a few things that were left out of the watches technology, it’s the next big advancement in mobile technology. Leaving the house without my phone definitely took a minute to get used to, but not being constantly plugged into my group chats on Snapchat and Facebook for the constant stimulation of information was kind of relaxing. I didn’t have my phone constantly vibrating in my pocket notifying me about the “Nth” email, or text, or likes on one of my posts.
My phone broke around the beginning of August, so let’s say it’s been roughly between 15-20 days off the grid. The only “real” problem i’ve encountered is how I’ve entangled my mobile device with the business and professional side of my life. Unbeknownst to me I had put in for an open shift a couple weeks back, I had no idea this shift was coming up. Luckily, my scheduling supervisor texted me and told me he was moving my shift from one station to another.
I get my phone today, and all in all I’m very excited to finally reconnect, but i’m going to do my best to not disassociate from social settings via cellular device like when I was previously connected. To be honest, minus the camera capabilities of newer devices and if technology with cellular watches were refined a little more I’d be able to firmly say Id be able to do away with my cell phone. I’m very intrigued to see in which direction mobile technology takes in the next 5-10 years.