Sunday, October 18, 2009
Live your life without a cell phone for 31 hours straight.
I woke up in the morning to the sound of “For the Moments I Feel Faint” by Relient K. I reached over to my bedside table to press the snooze button on my cell phone, only to realize that the sound was coming from my iHome. That’s right, no cell phone today. Darn.
At first when I heard about the lab, I counted it out immediately. Going without a cell phone for thirty-one hours? I thought, “That’s crazy! I could never do that!” I knew from the start how difficult this task would before me, so much that I hadn’t even been considering attempting it. But eventually I resolved that I would try it, basing my decision off of the idea that it would be an easy way to knock a lab out of the way.
After dragging myself out of bed and getting ready for the day, I instinctively walked over to my bedside table to drop my cell phone in my dance bag before heading off to breakfast. But I stopped myself just in time, realizing that, if placed in my dance bag, which was in reach almost all day, it would be a terrible temptation for me to pick it up and check my text messages. On my way to Calculus after breakfast, I found myself reaching into my bag to turn my phone on silent, but was slightly frazzled when I realized it wasn’t there. And all this within only an hour of being awake!
Throughout the day, I continued to reach into my pocket to check if I had any text messages. I never realized how often I would check my cell phone daily. One aspect of this lab I found particularly annoying was that I never knew what time it was. I never realized how many times I must reach into the front pocket of my dance bag, pull out my little pink phone, and press the volume button on the side of it to display the clock. I was walking around all day, unsure of exactly what time it was. This was very unnerving, especially because I’m so obsessive about time management and punctuality. This also happened to be the day that I got my first migraine headache ever. So there I was, unable to call home to ask for advice, nor call the stage managers to tell them I couldn’t go to rehearsal. It was a rather unfortunate coincidence.
I experienced a strange sort of separation anxiety throughout the thirty-one long hours that I was not able to use my cell phone. I never realized how much I depended upon it, and how much I used it in my daily life. It made me realize how reliant I am on always being connected to others. I get Facebook texts to my phone, alerting me when anybody sends me a message over Facebook. It was really strange not getting these constant updates and it made me feel really disconnected. I did find, however, that I was forced to actually get up and run to other people’s rooms in order to contact them, which was a positive aspect compared to sitting at my desk, exercising my thumb while text messaging the other person, and waiting there for them to respond. It made me feel kind of pathetic when I realized how much I depend upon my cell phone to keep me informed, connected, and on-schedule. At one point in the day, I even thought I heard my message alert go off, and felt really stupid when I found myself reaching into an empty pocket. After thirty-one hours, I was very glad to have my cell phone back and was relieved when I finally was able to check the nine text messages awaiting my return.