After a night out in Liverpool for a friend’s birthday, I was looking at the photos the following morning and saw that in almost every single one I was attached to my Blackberry. Even the photos of me passed out on the floor at the end of the night (and worryingly, the beginning as well) showed me huddled in a ball clutching my phone. This, coupled with my recent bill which showed I send over a whopping 3,000 texts each month, made me reassess my sanity. So I have switched my Blackberry off for the first time since I got it, taken the battery out and given it to a housemate to hide for a whole week. I’m pretty sure by Sunday I’ll have turned the house upside down frantically searching for it.
Wednesday 7th December: I dragged myself out of bed after being poked awake by my housemate because a man was waiting to measure the carpet in my room. He apologised for waking me up and I grumbled downstairs to make some breakfast. A horrible feeling of nausea and panic swept over me as I remembered I had to cut off contact with the world for an entire 7 days. I made a few last minute phone calls to work, my parents, my boyfriend and my best friend and then bit the bullet, pressed the off button and threw the phone into a drawer. Let the madness commence.
It’s only been 27 minutes and I’m already feeling edgy.
Thursday 8th December: Withdrawal symptoms are hitting. I woke up this morning and reached for my non-existent phone to check the time. After making a brief attempt at looking out of the window to see if I could make a logical guess from where the sun was, I resorted to switching my laptop on. Cue 2 hours spent wasted on Facebook. I had to sit through a whole lecture in the afternoon without playing Brickbreaker or texting someone on the same row saying, “I’m bored,” although I actually made some decent notes for a change. I also missed a committee meeting because my phone calendar didn’t remind me and I completely forgot. This isn’t going well.
Friday 9th December: After spending another day without my phone I’ve started to get a bit grumpy. I can’t contact ANYONE unless I go on Facebook. Bored and with no distractions, I start the disgusting task of cleaning my room which takes a turn for the worse when I realise my entire window and curtains are covered in mould. I reach for the phone to call my mother to ask what to do. Then realise I don’t have it. ARGH.
Saturday 10th December: I found myself at West Quay and it was a good hour or so before I realised I didn’t have my phone. Blimey. I’ve started to notice how much the people around me are using their phones and how distracted they become by them when having conversations. I know I do this constantly when I talk to people and now I feel a bit rude.
Sunday 11th December: I’m almost getting used to not constantly having my Blackberry to hand. We had Christmas in our house today so I was occupied for most of the day making food (well, almost. I was given the arduous task of making gravy and setting the table). We went to Highfield church afterwards for the carol service and it was only on the walk home that I remembered I didn’t have my phone. Perhaps I’ve made a breakthrough…
Monday 12th December: My 9am lecture has been cancelled, which is extremely lucky because I’ve been surviving without an alarm. I have a social tonight at Jesters with my course mates and I’m quite worried about the very likely possibility of getting absolutely trollied and not being able to contact anyone should I get lost/drown in my own vomit. Fingers crossed all shall go smoothly.
Tuesday 13th December: I crawled into my 10am lecture this morning and somehow managed not to chunder everywhere. In all honesty I don’t even remember needing my phone last night but that might simply be because I don’t remember anything at all. Perhaps this is the solution to detaching ourselves from technology: copious amounts of alcohol. Ugh.
Wednesday 14th December: Finally! 7 messages and 2 voicemails. For some reason I was hoping my entire phonebook would have contacted me. Worryingly two of those messages are from my mum and Orange. How depressing. An odd sensation of dread came over me again as I realised I was now back where I started: with this horribly addictive, stupid phone. I almost wish I’d left it switched off.
Giving up my phone for a week was hard to begin with. As well as losing the ability to text or ring people, I didn’t have an alarm, a watch or a calendar to keep me organised which was a nightmare, and going out phone-less felt quite vulnerable too. The main thing I noticed was that when I was talking to people they would constantly check their phones and I know I do this all the time. I do love my phone but the week without taught me I can manage pretty well without it, so I’m now attempting to leave it at home or in a drawer from time to time to encourage a healthy separation before I end up super-gluing it to my hand.