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Give up your phone

Michaela Reid, Editor-in-chief

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If our phones die, we die (metaphorically). The smartphone- it’s the way we are producers, communicators, and entertainers.

It is the ultimate way teens interact with their peers. In the United States, teens spend an average of nine hours a day on social media for entertainment (on a smartphone), according to CNN.

For a whole two months, my social media scrolling hours went to zero, and this is what I learned.
One. I knew nothing about what was going on in the news unless I went out of my way to look.

I realized how often I relied on my phone for immediate updates, and like many people, I too often got my news from Twitter.
Two. It was more problematic for all of my friends and family than it was for me. They had to put in a lot of effort to come in contact with me, yet I was not pressed.

I would hear “If I have to email you one more time…” from my friends, and my Mom wanted phone numbers of anyone I was hanging out with.

Three. I thought I would miss my friends by not being in contact with them as much, but in reality, it was sometimes more lonely in person if you’re the only one not scrolling.

Watching movies, going out to eat, or simply having a conversation would be interrupted. I started noticing the lack of connection people had with each other in person.

Everything slowed down. It was like stepping out of the common pace of life.

Four. Naturally, I had to fill up my time so I started a few new hobbies. I started cooking for my family, had more conversations with my Mom (realized how alike we are) and didn’t procrastinate as much.

Five. One thing I often took for granted was time and more specifically knowing what time it was. This meant a few things.

One was jolting awake to my Mother banging on my door at differing times each morning (flashbacks of junior high). The second was every stranger becoming a friend.

Starbucks baristas, train conductors and plenty more helped me out at one point or another.
Six. It really, really, really helped me sleep.

Not having blue light keep me up at night allowed me to fall asleep much faster as well as sleep through the night.By the end of the two months, I gained a slightly new concept of time and its value.

When there is any type of advancement that makes life easier, does that make life better?

Is faster better, or is something lost in the transition? Often, how we interact as a society is taken for granted as “normal” or should be unchallenged.

It is valuable to take a step back and form some level of choice in how we decide to spend a day or even an hour of the day.

It’s important because those nine hours each day stretched across a lifetime adds up. Anything you do for that long affects you.

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Give up your phone