24 Hours Without a Phone

I am addicted to my phone. I have been for quite some time, but I could never bring myself to admit that, until now.

One of my favourite movies is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The main character, Ferris, spends his “sick day” sightseeing, pool hopping and joining a parade with his closest friends. My main takeaway from this movie is to live in the moment, and Ferris says his iconic line to begin and end the film:

“Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

There was something refreshing about seeing a teenager simply enjoying life without any pressure or fear as to what the future holds. Ferris spent his days committed to the present, which is something that we should all strive to achieve. As the movie is set in the 1980s, there are no cellphones, social media, or anything of the sort. Although, he did have a nifty computer.

Ferris is confident with himself; he knows what he wants and acts without hesitation. While should be one of our goals, it’s evident that over the years, certain obstacles have gone in our way to accomplish this. Personally, my biggest obstacle is my phone.

When I wake up, I immediately reach for my phone. It has become a habit, a reflex, dare I say, second nature. I spend the first ten to fifteen minutes of my day scrolling through social media apps, catching up on all the news I missed over the night. Don’t be mistaken, I love social media and all its features, however, the line starts to draw as I spend the majority of my day with my eyes glued to my screen.

Even with these conflicting feelings, it practically impossible to remove my phone from my life when the world runs of technology. I understand the frustration that comes with this dilemma and offer my escape: give yourself a break. Whether it is 30 minutes, an hour, or a whole day, it’s crucial to schedule a getaway from your phone. Take it from Ferris, life moves pretty fast. While technology keeps us connected to others, we must not forget to appreciate our lives and relationships outside the screen.

After careful consideration, I have decided to go 24 hours without my cell phone. It wasn’t easy, but it taught me a lot about myself.

1. My productivity skyrocketed.

Without the distraction of my cell phone, my productivity increased. When I got home from school, I completed my homework immediately, without getting sidetracked by YouTube and TikTok.

2. Falling asleep and waking up was astronomically easier.

Using my phone before bed and right when I wake up has become a habit. Trust me, it’s not a good one. With my phone gone, gravitated towards a new book that I had been meaning to read and journaled in a notebook. This allowed me to clear my thoughts which made it a lot easier for me to fall asleep. When I woke up in the morning, I forced myself to get out of bed right away, without reaching for my phone.

3. My creativity flourished.

Throughout the day, I was able to channel my time towards creative outlets such as writing, painting, and photography. I can get so caught up in scrolling through social media, that I lose touch with the things that I love doing. I took a walk outside and soaked in the beauty of the surroundings I had once missed. I then wrote all the thoughts I had in my journal when I arrived back home. I also brought my film camera on my journey and I took photos of the nature around my house.

4. I felt refreshed.

Sometimes, I do wish time could stop for a minute. Without my phone, it felt like it did. I began to appreciate all the things I take for granted and I gained a new understanding on what life was like before the technological era. It was quiet and quaint. It was simple.

5. I reconnects with my love of reading.

Reading was my life. However, that passion slowly burned out over the years. During the 24 hours, I decided to ignite the spark. I had recently picked up Lili Reinhart’s debut poetry book Swimming Lessons, so I spent the day reading and remembering why I loved it so much. It inspired me to sit down and write some of my own poetry.

6. Technology isn’t the enemy.

Like anything in this world, there are positives and negatives. While there are many obvious negatives with technology, there are also many positives that shine through. For instance, without my phone, I felt really disconnected. Technology is a great source of communication. Without it, I could not check in with my friends to see how they were doing and vice versa. I was isolating.

Going forward, I plan to use my phone less but not remove it from my life entirely. I will do this by using the Screen Time feature to set limits on certain apps and to send me a reminder for when I have been on my phone for too long. This allows me to still access the daily necessities that my cell phone provides while also focusing on the world around me and truly appreciating the present.

While it is completely your decision, I encourage you to watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and schedule a day for yourself because let’s be honest, you deserve it.

Written by Kiera Johanson

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