Yesterday, I was blessed with the unfortunate luck of feeling sick all day (resulting in me going home after one lecture because I couldn’t see straight or hold any food down), and living the reality of our generation’s worst nightmare: I left my phone at home.
Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be.
In a 2014-2015 study by Catalyst on the Canadian Mobile Market, it’s shown that us millennials (in this study, ages 18-24 was the youngest group they surveyed) are giving a “glimpse into the future”, and used our smartphones as a “primary device” compared to those 25 and above.
As someone constantly on her phone, I fit into this demographic of millennials constantly looking at my phone and using it as a primary device. I hate to admit it, but its pretty much part of my life: an extension of me. I use it took keep track of time, organize my life, read articles, learn about news and stay connected to everyone around me. The second I realized my phone wasn’t on me, a feeling of nakedness settled upon me that made me both scared and ashamed at the same time.
I was scared, because I realized how much I relied on my phone and I was going through the problems I would face throughout my day for not having my phone on me. Of course, I had my laptop with me, but the me in that moment was justifying that a laptop isn’t as portable as my phone (which it is… in a sense. I mean laptops are the portable versions of computers, and our phones are like the ultra mini versions of our laptops… Don’t worry, I know how stupid my word is. It’s because I was also acting irrationally and stupid as well- I am aware of it, trust me).
I got through it of course; I used my laptop for its usual purposes, as well as communicating with my mom and friends that I didn’t have my phone on me (because I was running late and I forgot). But that was in the lecture. After that class, I had to put it away in my backpack, and my pockets and my hands were empty (and my ears too, since I couldn’t listen to music to drown out my surroundings).
I noticed a couple things: everyone around me was looking down, had their phones in their hands (even if they weren’t using it), or had something in there ears. Like there were only a hand few of people that seemed like they were device free, and it was weird. It was weird knowing that everyone, all in a sense, was wired together, and I wasn’t. Sure I had my laptop in my bag, and I could pull it out and use it like a phone (thank you Macbooks), but like that wasn’t realistic and I wasn’t going to do that.
I noticed that everyone around me, even my friends, would be on their phones texting while talking to each other, and there would be these were lulls where we’d be talking about something, and then just silence because someone (or all of them) was on their phone. It was weird because I didn’t have something in my hand either, and when I took my friend’s phone into my hand to hold for a second, it felt right- and wrong.
I think I’m still pretty embarrassed for freaking about not having my phone, ranting about not having my phone to my friend (sorry Sara), and justifying missing my train to school FOR a phone. I remember a time when I didn’t have a phone, and it’s weird to think that was what, five, six years ago? And I remembered that it was okay not having one either, that it was okay if I didn’t have it on me 24/7.
I think our generation gets a lot of crap for not being able to live without our phones, but I did it. Granted, I did have a laptop on me, but I didn’t use it as constantly as I would’ve my phone. Anyways, technicalities aside, all I have to say is that its cool not having a phone on your person once in a while, because you really get to use all your sense… and take in how distracted you actually are when you ARE on your phone. Like seriously, if I had a shot every time someone early ran into me because they were on their phone, dear Jesus, it would be a repeat of Frosh.
All in all, if you forget your phone, you’ll live honey. And it’ll be okay.