I’m not twenty, and am constantly reminded that I’m not — both from internal alerts and external messages. Would I like to be younger? Of course. But it certainly comes at a price. So, after reading the exploits of a 20-something forced to live without her smartphone for a week, I realize it’s not all that bad being a cranky old luddite.
I hope that the ordeal, excerpted below, is tongue-very-much-in-cheek but I suspect it’s not: constant status refreshes, morning selfies, instant content gratification, nano-scale attention span, over-stimulation, life-stream documentation, peer ranking, group-think, interrupted interruptions. Thus, I realize I’m rather content not to be twenty after all.
From the Telegraph:
I have a confession to make: I am addicted to my smartphone. I use it as an alarm clock, map, notepad, mirror and camera.
I spend far too much time on Twitter and Instagram and have this week realised I have a nervous tick where I repeatedly unlock my smartphone.
And because of my phone’s many apps which organise my life and help me navigate the world, like many people my age, I am quite literally lost without it.
I am constantly told off by friends and family for using my phone during conversations, and I recently found out (to my horror) that I have taken over 5,000 selfies.
So when my phone broke I seized the opportunity to spend an entire week without it, and kept a diary each day.
Day One: Thursday
Frazzled, I reached to my bedside table, so I could take a morning selfie and send it to my friends.
Realising why that could not happen, my hand and my heart both felt empty. I knew at this point it was going to be a long week.
Day Two: Friday
I basked in the fact my colleagues could not contact me – and if I did not reply to their emails straight away it would not be the end of the world.
I then took the train home to see my parents outside London.
I couldn’t text my mother about any delays which may have happened (they didn’t), and she couldn’t tell me if she was going to be late to the station (she wasn’t). The lack of phone did nothing but make me feel anxious and prevent me from being able to tweet about the irritating children screaming on the train.
Day Three: Saturday
It is a bit weird feeling completely cut off from the outside world; I am not chained to my computer like I am at work and I am not allowed to constantly be on my laptop like a teen hacker.
It was nice though – a real detox. We went on a walk with our spaniel in the countryside near the Chiltern Hills. I had to properly talk to everyone, instead of constantly refreshing Twitter, which was novel.
I do feel like my attention span is improving every day, but I equally feel anchorless and lost without having any way of contacting anyone, or documenting my life.
Day Seven: Wednesday
My attention span and patience have grown somewhat, and I have noticed I daydream and have thoughts independent of Twitter far more often than usual.
Read the entire account here.