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A week without my phone, an honest study of living low tech

Are phones necessary, and can we really go without them?
Philip Ostrowski
Philip enjoys reading a book during his time without a phone

My phone reports that on average, per week, I spend around three hours each day on my phone. I took it upon myself, after the suggestion of Mr. Loss, to go one whole week without my phone. The limitations were that I could only use it for texting and calling. Besides that, the phone would stay turned off.

The first day was probably the hardest as I would soon realize my typical routine wouldn’t work anymore. My first problem was when I  woke up on a cold Monday morning to my alarm, I reached for my phone to check social media. Just before picking it up, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to scroll whilst laying in my bed for fifteen minutes before getting up, which was my usual routine.

I ran into my second problem when I stepped downstairs, poured some coffee, and sunk my hand in my pocket. I remembered yet again that I wouldn’t be able to use my phone, while enjoying my morning coffee.

Five minutes later, back in my room choosing the day’s outfit, I felt the urge to check my phone again to see the weather. Even though this was the first time in the morning, I was using it for something mildly productive, I wouldn’t allow myself.  Instead of using my phone, I opened the window and looked outside to feel how cold it was.

Later, I got into my car to drive to school, and grabbed my aux cord to play some music. I thought of the radio, but I don’t like any of that music. At least I had a lone CD bouncing about my glove box to play. After a few days of either no music, the CD I had, or the radio, it really made me want to purchase some CDs, or burn my own.

CD? What’s a CD? For those under the age of 40, a Compact Disc (CD) is a round, thin method of playing music or storing small amounts of computer information.

Fast forward to the next Monday, and I’ve finished the whole week without my phone (mostly). Other than the previously mentioned texting and calling only, I was successful in staying off of my phone. Overall, it wasn’t too difficult to go without, but there were quite a few things that I wish I had it for. I couldn’t take pictures of anything, check the weather, search things, use the GPS, or play music.

I found myself with so much more free time that I even went back to an old hobby of mine, making music. Also, it gave me much more time to take a moment to myself, to think and reflect. I’ve also mostly lost that impulsive feeling to check my phone, and I’ve lost interest in social media, although I do still check it occasionally. It does nothing for me, and rarely informs me of important things.

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I ended up buying some CDs at an antique store for cheap during my time away from my phone, and found some music that I really liked. I had no idea what they were going into it, but I’m glad I found them.

I think that the majority of people, or at least those similar to my age, use their phone as a distraction. People use their phone merely to just pass the time, rather than get anything done.

Of course, you are using it to read this article, Exhibit A of good reasons to stare at your phone.

I’ve noticed that phones get in the way of living in the moment for a lot of people. During social situations, when I’m trying to talk to others, they go on their phone and don’t listen. Another thing that occasionally bothers me is when people feel the need to record everything they do. Always taking pictures of their food before eating, filming activities, and selfies. I’m not saying that this is inherently wrong, but some do it excessively to the point where I believe it takes away from the experience.

Various books I’ve been reading over the course of my no-phone week (Philip Ostrowski)

I can’t say I’m not guilty of a few of the previously mentioned behaviors, but I’m doing my best to use my phone less in my day to day life. I think rarely my phone genuinely benefits me, and to use it as much as I do is unhealthy. This world is becoming increasingly intertwined with technology, and it’s made me far more cautious about how I involve it in my life.

If you share the same sentiment, I highly recommend going a week without your phone too. It’s a great experience and you’ll learn a lot about yourself.

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About the Contributor
Philip Ostrowski
Philip Ostrowski, Staff Reporter
My name is Philip Ostrowski and I am a senior at Sutton High School. I run cross country, track, and I am a Boy Scout. I have learned many new skills and have experienced many new things as a scout. A hobby of mine is programming, and I often use it to make video games. I also appreciate the outdoors, and love to go biking, hiking, and camping.

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    Ms. ShivickDec 17, 2023 at 8:39 am

    Philip, I really enjoyed reading your story. Thank you.