I had a YouTube marathon the other day, and it showed me two things: (1) I have an extremely small attention span and (2) I spend waaay to much time on my phone. I watched videos for about four hours straight. One of the videos I watched was Annie Long’s “24 hours without my phone during QUARANTINE.” After that video I was super motivated to follow her lead and spend an entire day without my phone.
The majority of time I spend on my phone is for my blog, on Instagram, wordpress, Pinterest, etc. Even though I have an incredibly small following, I’m constantly checking my notifications and engaging on other’s posts. Going into it, I wasn’t that nervous about the social aspect because I really only text three of my friends in a group chat, and I figured I wouldn’t miss that much.
The whole “24 hours” was kinda accidental. I stopped using my phone at 11 Monday night, and had planned to spend Tuesday without my phone until 9. However, because there was only a two hour difference I just stuck it through. The original post idea was to be a while 24 hours without my phone, but I had to do a workout from my phone, so that wasn’t really possible. Therefore, I spent most of my day off my phone and all technology, including social media. I wrote down my thoughts in a notebook as the day went on, so I typed them up a few days after (promise I didn’t cheat).
How My Day Went
I woke up earlier than usual, but didn’t get up until 10:30. The weirdest thing happened, I was in that weird half asleep half awake stage, and I was having vivid dreams of scrolling through my phone. I thought of this as my brain filling in what it wanted, because I wasn’t on my phone, I had tricked myself into thinking I was. (Not sure if that makes sense, but it’s hard to explain).
Guys, let me tell you, I was so productive today. As soon as I got up I tucked my phone away in my desk drawer and started cleaning my room. I found that during this time, I didn’t really want to go in my phone. I spent an hour or so going through and reorganizing my dresser and then went down to breakfast. I was really looking forward to meals because as much as I want to ”eat mindfully,” there’s always something interesting on my phone, so I never just eat. (Wow, I have no self control…) I ate with no distractions and I really think it had the effects it claims to have. I felt more full, ate slower, and really enjoyed my meal.
I trekked back up stairs around noon and resumed cleaning my room. At this point, I was feeling super motivated and productive. I pulled out my entire closet and sorted it into 3 giant donate bags. I also got two huge bagfuls of clothing to sell on Poshmark. (You can find my Poshmark here and use my code MEGHAN_L_SELLS to get $10). Around 1, my family was mean to me. My dad sent a menu to order for dinner, and no one in my family would let me tell him what I wanted via their phone. (I just wanted my regular avocado rolls, incase you were wondering). So, I was forced to go on my phone, I looked at the menu (because they didn’t have what I wanted) and texted my dad. While I was on, I saw multiple notifications and it stressed me out. What are they for? Is someone texting me? And let me just tell y’all that I n e v e r get texts.
The rest of the day I cleaned my room. I think it was easier, and less of a chore, because I didn’t have my phone. Usually, I’ll work for 15 minutes tops before I retreat back to Instagram. Around 4, I checked my team page to see if I had a specific track workout, then went straight to Nike Fitness Club. (Premium is free rn, btw…) I’m doing a four week workout program and took a rest day the day before, so I couldn’t not do it today. (Bad planning on my part).
The rest of the day I hung out with my sisters, at dinner, and journaled. The only notable part during this time was the last hour or two. I was counting down the minutes until 11. I couldn’t figure out anything to do, so I ended up annoying my younger sister for a half an hour. When I did go on my phone, I wasn’t satisfied. I no longer felt the need to see all of the notifications and scroll mindlessly. After replying to a few DMs and catching up on posts, I went to bed.
First of all, let’s just take a minute to look at these numbers. The photo below is my screen time.
I learned a lot from (basically) staying off of my phone for a full day. First of all, I learned that in some way, they are a necessary part of our daily lives. In order to contact my parents and workout, I had to be on my phone. It also showed me how much I can do without my phone. A lot of the things I did that day, like hanging out with my sisters, eating, cleaning, watching a movie, don’t require my phone. Oddly enough, whenever I do these things I’m on my phone. A change that I’m definitely going to make is to give my attention fully to what I’m doing. If I’m doing something, like watching a movie, I’ll watch the movie, not be on my phone while to movie is on. I also became less anxious (for lack of a better word) when it comes to seeing everyone’s Instagram story. Now I’m wonder: why did I care in the first place?
I do think that there are a lot of misconceptions about teenagers and their phone use. In some ways, phones are necessary. This was a good experience and nice way to give my mind a break. I highly recommend that you try it! Do you think that you can last a whole day without your phone and/or social media?