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The Oracle staffer unplugs for a week

For the past three years, my life was centered around one thing: my iPhone. So it was an unimaginable task to turn my phone off and store it in a cabinet for a whole week. Just the thought of not being able to check my Snapchats sent a cold shiver down my spine. But I finally decided, for the sake of a good article, I would go for a whole week without my phone. Let there be a disclaimer that I did use Facebook during the week but I limited myself to only once after school. Now, let there be a disclaimer to the disclaimer stating that I only used Facebook for mainly educational purposes. In the beginning, a big struggle was trying to figure out how I was going to wake myself up or know what clothes to wear according to the weather.

Trying to find an alarm clock in a house full of smart phones was a difficult task. I finally managed to find an old alarm clock that I had used in middle school (gorgeously decorated with Barbie stickers that were half-peeled off) in the garage. After trying to figure out how it worked, I learned that I could only set one alarm on it, rather than the usual ten that are required to wake me up. As the morning came, I had to get out of my bed, walk all the way to the computer on the opposite side of the room, and Google “Palo Alto weather” like a caveman. I finally got to school and instead of listening to ad-less music from my phone, I ended up using the old-fashioned radio; so now it’s basically Hernando and Greg on 99.7 for life.

I never realized how much I used my iPhone throughout the school day. Walking with my friends, I actually began to admire the scenery of Gunn rather than the scenery of Facebook Mobile. When I finished work early in a class, I read my English book AHEAD of time instead of playing Candy Crush. At first, I felt sort of naked without my phone on me 24/7, but it turned out to be a breath of fresh air to be able to walk the hallways with my hands free of devices. Since using my phone to coordinate was impossible, I had to physically find friends on campus to arrange specific times for the entire week otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see them.

The hardest part was explaining to my mother, who—bless her heart, loves me very much and wants only the best for me—needs to know where I am one hundred percent of the time, that I wouldn’t be able to communicate with her over the phone. Same story for my dear father who was overwhelmed when I drove to Safeway without my phone and nearly had a stroke.

The experience was a nice break from reality but the truth is that in today’s day and age, having a phone is essential to being connected to the rest of the world. I had no idea how dependent I was on my iPhone but sadly the reality is that there is no turning back. The minute you connect yourself to a smartphone of any kind, your life goes into that phone. There is absolutely nothing else in the world that contains more about my personal life than my iPhone. My calendar is in my phone, and what would I ever do without my precious Googlemaps or Whatsapp? The best thing to do is to accept the fact that our society is now completely dependent on cellular devices. The more we try to deny it, the more we get left behind.

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