The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

A week without a phone

There is something strangely freeing and yet immensely frightening about being out of contact with the outside world. 

It may be a cliché observation, but  it is difficult to deny the overwhelming metamorphosis society has undergone in the last decade under the spell of technology. 

Today, not a day passes in which I do not send at least a dozen text messages.  And yet 10 years ago, I had no idea what a text message was.  Yes, I did have AOL Instant Messenger like every plugged-in middle schooler, but I did not have a cell phone. Calls from friends came in on the family line which, to my thirteen-year-old horror, was often answered by my parents.

In the past week, however, I have been forced to part with both old and new technology; my parents finally killed our landline (rest in peace, childhood phone number) and, after a series of accidental falls, my cell phone is also out of commission. 

This string of events left me in a strange technological purgatory, with no way to make or receive calls and no way to answer texts.  This misfortune proved to be taxing yet nevertheless interesting.

You see, I had forgotten what it was like to go to the store and not be within a moment’s reach of everyone in my address book.  To leave the house and let go of ties to the home base, if just for a few minutes. 

The frustrating experience of having a broken cell phone actually turned out to be a fairly refreshing one, in which I was able to make a few precious moments of my weekend truly my own, with no chance of interference or interruption.

It seems unfair that I most often complain about always being on someone else’s schedule—class, meetings, work, appointments—but that I allow myself to be harassed in my free time by marrying myself to my cell phone.  Indeed, a brief divorce from that device might have made for the most relaxing weekend of my semester.

Although I do not mean to start a leave-the-cell-at-home revolution and I do intend to have my phone repaired, I intend to explore and share the fruits of my experience.

The way I see it, if we all mustered up a little more courage, giving up our cell phones might become a trendy relaxation ritual akin to soothing soaks in the tub or hot room yoga. 

But what about those who protest, saying they simply cannot give it up for even a moment?  The reality is that unless we are doctors on-call or parents of first-time drivers, there is no reason we should feel obliged to be reachable one hundred percent of the time. 

And who knows?  Perhaps with our cell phones safely resting on our kitchen counters there will be less distracted driving on the road, something all of us, especially Oprah, would be happy about.

Rebecca Quinn is a junior art history, Spanish and French triple major. She can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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