A few months ago while running through the rain on the way to class, I dropped my iPhone 4 in a puddle. Naturally, I sat through class practically having a panic attack. I kept telling myself that this type of thing happened all the time and that there was no way my phone wouldn’t be miraculously cured by the box of rice I bought at the Walgreens up the street. Unfortunately I was wrong. And because of my busy schedule, I was unable to get a replacement phone for several days.
No phone calls, no texts, no weather updates, Words with Friends, or Facebook and Twitter updates at the swipe of a finger for me. As annoyed as I was with the situation, I couldn’t help but enjoy the solitude not having a cell phone seemed to bring me. I couldn’t get any distracting texts or phone calls and I didn’t have to worry about forgetting to put my phone on silent while I was in class. There were no games or social media apps for me to check over and over again. I actually started looking up and enjoying our beautiful campus while walking to class instead of looking down at my phone checking my Twitter feed. The only numbers I had memorized were those of my family and best friends, so if I needed to call them on someone’s phone it wasn’t an issue.
Eventually I was fortunate enough to get a working phone several days after the puddle incident. But the lessons I learned from being phoneless weren’t totally lost. I stopped checking my phone so obsessively and was therefore able to more enjoy my in-person conversations with people, go to sleep earlier instead of checking every app on my phone before bed, and enjoy taking in the scenery everywhere I went. Not having a cell phone was really a blessing in disguise because it forced me to live more in the moment. As the great Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”