Life without a cell phone

Associate Life Editor for the Daily Campus spent some time without her cell phone over Spring Break after an unfortunate incident. (Kaboompics/Creative Commons)

Associate Life Editor for the Daily Campus spent some time without her cell phone over Spring Break after an unfortunate incident. (Kaboompics/Creative Commons)

When was the last time you left your apartment without your cell phone?

Probably not recently, especially as a college student always keeping your keys, wallet and phone close at hand. Maybe your headphones, too.

Our phones contain a whole world of knowledge inside of them, plus entertainment, communication and countless memories.

Personally, I use my phone to keep notes, interview recordings, photos of puppies and important memes, legendary high scores, numbers of friends I make when I’m drunk and as a portable clock.

But this Spring Break, I packed my phone to take with me to majestic Miami and it came back a hollow shell of what it once was. (The same could be said for me, too.)

The week started great with a continuous Snapchat story of my shenanigans from beach, to bar, to club to the hell that is a hangover.

And then, one night, I made the fatal mistake of leaving my smartphone in the back pocket of my jeans before going to the bathroom.

My beautiful capsule of connection and memory took a short fall and a long swim and my only response was dry it off and head over to Señor Frog’s for gummy bear-flavored shots.

The last photo of the author just moments before she dropped her phone in a Miami bar. She was blissfully unaware of the second vacation her first vacation would create by losing her phone for a week.  Photo courtesy of author.

The last photo of the author just moments before she dropped her phone in a Miami bar. She was blissfully unaware of the second vacation her first vacation would create by losing her phone for a week.  Photo courtesy of author.

My face was never lit by the bright light of its screen again.

Plot-twist: I lived. I survived. I thrived!

The week was definitely hard without my phone, but mostly I just missed being able to take photos of the beaches and sending incoherent snaps and texts to my loved ones. On second thought, scratch that last one.

I had my MacBook, but honestly, we weren’t home often enough for me to utilize iMessage.

I mostly just sent “love youuuuuuu xoxooxoxo” texts to my mom.

I lived without a sense of time, without the responsibility of calling Ubers and with utter disregard for the status of my bank account.

And don’t you know, the old gods blessed me with payday mid-week.

I wasn’t worried about checking social media - though I missed Twitter with all my heart – because posting for me is sharing a silly thought with all my friends at once, so I don’t have to causally pretend I thought of it during each of our conversations face-to-face. Who has time for that?

I got into a little trouble with my dad, who had no idea what I had gotten up to since I couldn’t iMessage his weird Droid from my laptop.

And let me tell you, traveling without Venmo is a nightmare.

Luckily my old friends tolerated me and my new friends learned to love me, and I fulfilled the requests as soon as Venmo corporate emailed me a code to use the desktop version.

The truth is people revolve around their phones, checking them constantly, downloading games to fill their spare time, but they really do so much more for us than that.

I had so much free time to read my Vonnegut book on the beach and didn’t care what I looked like because I wasn’t sending out snaps, only featuring.

I had an excuse to not text my mom back immediately and to ignore work emails (though none came).

I loved being without a phone even when back from break.

If my computer was open, I was available, but when I finally shut it I would shut out the world.

I watched Netflix on my TV for hours without interruption and blissfully ignored the impulse to post and check in on various friends around the world.

I also don’t own a traditional alarm clock so I slept in and believed everyone would have to excuse it.

It’s a simple life, but honestly, if I gave up my phone, I would have to start wearing a watch, lose touch with my best friends attending other colleges, miss updates on my little cousins’ antics and, of course, all the memes.

Not to mention I’d have to manually remember everything with my brain.

Before I bought a new phone, I could have just read about Spring Break alongside the Boston Tea Party in a history book, for all I remember.

Now I have a brand new iPhone, bigger and better with all the more capacity to control and waste my time.

But I don’t think I could be a productive human without it.


Francesca Colturi is associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at francesca.colturi@uconn.edu.