In 2016 owning a smartphone is the norm – it’s expected. IPhones are practically a badge of respectability with the general consensus being: if you don’t have one, what are you playing at?
A month ago I became abnormal. I ditched my (smashed) smartphone when I was told how much it would cost to have it fixed. There was no option but to go off grid for a month with a Nokia 130. Would the world keep spinning without constant notifications, emails or texts? It would be an adventure, I told myself, to see if I could actually handle life without social media.
Here’s what I learned in a month:
- Instagram isn’t ‘that good’.
Contrary to what people believe, neither you nor your Instagram feed will die if you’re not at its beck and call 24/7. Kylie Jenner will still have ‘those’ lips, Victoria’s Secret will still make you regret the chocolate bar you just ate, and that ‘like’ probably doesn’t mean he fancies you.
- Your friends are more interesting than you think.
Don’t get me wrong, there were times without my iPhone where I wanted to bang my head against a brick wall with boredom. Until I got up and actually had a face to face conversation with my house mates: no emojis, no text alerts, no print screens. Turns out, they all had pretty interesting things going on in their lives. (Ironically they all caught up with me whilst eye-balls-deep into their phones.)
- Everyone on public transport thinks you have two heads…
or at least looks at you like they’re thinking that way.
Without an iPhone I started to take notice of what was actually going on around me, and because I wasn’t glued to my phone I felt myself acknowledging strangers.
So… I’m on the tube looking around me. When I throw a smile or make slightly more eye contact, it seems that without my phone in my hand to immediately revert back to, people thought I was weird.
Thankfully, I have enough self-confidence to know that showing a hint of a smile at people on the tube, really isn’t that weird. We’ve just all become weirdly anti-social, without even realising it.
- Do you know how many times I was asked if I was a drug dealer?
Come on, people, a girl can have a Nokia 130 without being apprenticed to East London’s selling crew. It may not have a front camera for a selfie, it may not have Twitter and Instagram apps and it may not have a fancy touch screen… but that doesn’t mean my CV has to include ‘drug dealer’. Although that would solve my money worries and get my iPhone back…
5. If being up to date is your thing, forget it.
One of the main obstacles I faced without an iPhone was 9 November, US presidential election, Donald Trump. I don’t really need to say much more. I felt so out of it, not having the information at my finger tips, and I knew how big this was for the Internet and social media – but I took a back seat and played catch up on my laptop. One benefit from this was not having to witness everyone become an expert in politics on Twitter.
- People always think you’re trying to pull some originality stunt.
No, I’m simply a student. It would just seem that for iPhone repairs it’s easier to get a mortgage.
- I hope you like planning.
Living in London, amongst all the hustle and bustle there’s always one thing you can rely on, City Mapper. Not surprisingly my Nokia 130 can’t even take photos, never mind pull up an app. Getting around has been a bit of a nightmare. I’ve been late and lost more times in the last month than when I first moved to London.
8. Sleep like a baby.
I hate to be the one that says it (Mum, you were right), but without the constant distractions from my phone, my sleeping pattern has improved dramatically.
Self confessed scroll-aholic, I have been known to scroll aimlessly for hours and hours in bed, when I should be asleep. My sleep was always pretty restless too. I’d wake up at any vibration from under the pillow (pardon the thought), and group chat would keep me up until the late hours of the morning.
Now, with my ‘trap phone’, no more! Bath and bed for 10pm, up at 8am. Repeat.
9. Christmas can’t come any sooner.
Waking up on Christmas Day to a stocking filled by Santa I’m praying that this year the trusty orange is replaced with a certain Apple product.
But don’t feel too sorry for me, guys. I bet my battery lasts longer than yours.