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A phoneless month.

February was a special month for me. I had challenged myself to put away my phone for an entire month. In this post, I’d like to share my experience.

But, why would I want to do this? I found myself glued to my phone a lot lately. At home, when I woke up, in the evening, at school, and even on the toilet. In addition, I also noticed it was annoying me everyone expects you to always be available.

So, how’d it go? I have to say I quite enjoyed the peace it gave me, however, I was counting down in the last week. And in free periods and breaks at school, when all my friends were playing games without me, I did miss my phone a bit. But I also liked to not be distracted the whole time, and it also motivated me to think of other ways to spend my time when I was bored. I finished three books in the first week alone in just the breaks at school.

There were a few problems tho. My school is in Schiedam, and I always make my homework together with my best friend Kevin, but calling is quite hard without a phone. Discord for the rescue, but it just isn’t as practical as Whatsapp is. My school schedule is also on my phone, and it just isn’t feasible to start my computer every morning at 6 o’clock. Which means I was too early at school five times.

I do realize now that with exception of some really important communication my phone isn’t that important at all. I deleted YouTube and Reddit1 straight away, and those apps aren’t coming back (ever).

It is a bit strange that we always have to be available. Instant messaging is cool and all because it allows you to have conversations over great distances, but it also creates the expectation that you’ll respond to every message straight away.

Maybe people will tell me that to use my laptop for school and work is cheating2. But that is like saying eating vegetables when you’re trying to eat no sugar is cheating. The goal wasn’t to completely get rid of devices or to cut me from all communications. I just wanted to experience what it is like to not be available at any time of the day and to find alternative ways to spend my time. Besides, it was also interesting to see how this would affect my social life.

Conclusion? It was certainly an informative experience. I don’t know if I would recommend it, but if you feel inspired I would encourage you to try it.

  1. You might be wondering: what about Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all the other junk? Well, I didn’t have that garbage on my phone in the first place. Read more about my opinion on social media here↩︎

  2. I have to add that I did use my phone once to turn on 2FA for my job because otherwise I couldn’t access my account, but I only opened the authenticator app and turned off my phone immideately when I was done. ↩︎