[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen I left my photography class on Tuesday, Mr. Ramey caught me red-handed in the act of texting my friends. After pleading to no prevail, he walked away with my phone in his hand. The new rule against walking and texting inside the building was announced during assembly a few weeks earlier. I felt my face burning up as I stomped away. I wasn’t mad at Mr. Ramey; I was genuinely scared for how I was going to survive the next three hours without a phone.
The next three hours were the most hellish hours of my life. I felt overcome with anxiety from being completely disconnected from the world. During my second meeting with Mr. Ramey to get my phone back, we realized that I am truly addicted to my phone. So, naturally, I challenged myself to a 48—hour cellphone cleanse. I left my group chat, told my mom to email me for emergencies, and hid the phone in my glove compartment. Here are 3 things I learned through this cleanse:
3 things I learned during my 48-hour iPhone cleanse
Lunch is a valuable work period. It’s O.K. to eat alone during lunch. I couldn’t find my friends because we usually decide to go off campus and coordinate the destination over the group chat. But since I was out of the loop, I was left friendless and very productive. I finished a majority of my homework during lunch while sitting outside in a really peaceful place. Nobody talked to me and it was incredible. By the end of the lunch period, I felt energized and stress—free for the rest of the day.
Schoolwork isn’t the reason you go to bed at ungodly hours. I talk to a group of 5 people from the the second I wake up to the second I go to bed. A majority of this conversation happens over our group chat and Snapchat. Texting friends can be fun and convenient, but our generation has slowly let online communication drag us down and distract us from the present. Instead of doing a few math problems, responding to somebody’s funny comment or random question, then refocusing on my homework, I worked in a steady and undistracted flow. In this way, I completed a shocking amount of work. Normally, completing a fraction of this workload—and dragging it out because I keep getting sidetracked by online distractions—would keep me up till midnight. However, without a phone, I was able to get in bed at exactly 8 P.M. and enjoy a sweet, full ten hours of blissful sleep.
Instagram sucks. I don’t care about people’s Instagrams. I really just have an Instagram because I like to “Insta Stalk” interesting people and show off edited pictures of myself and friends. I realized during this cleanse that finishing my Instagram feed was akin to finishing my chores. I do it everyday, put minimal effort into it, and all of the bad or good emotions it once gave me have dissolved into just going through the motions. I really don’t care about, or “like”, the millionth picture of your golden retriever.
So, if you’re looking to do a little better in school or feel a little less stressed, I highly suggest taking a break from your phone.