In spite of my complaints, the flip phone won me over. Using it was freeing. I didn’t feel chained to my notifications and wasn’t constantly scrolling through Instagram. And I listened to 90s music again!
I didn’t miss social media at all. I was able to check Facebook and Twitter on my desktop, which was enough to keep me up to date. Instead of scrolling past the same content again and again, I filled spare moments with reading, interacting with my surroundings or simply doing nothing. I felt present and distraction-free.
One night, I treated myself to dinner at a ramen restaurant known for its individual booths, where I spent the entire meal absorbed in my book. I didn’t catch up on emails or texts. I didn’t check Instagram and compare my plans to everyone else’s. I wasn’t bombarded with news notifications as I tried to page through an e-book.
The experience was enlightening: I didn’t feel an ounce of stress or FOMO or anxiety. I was more relaxed than I had been in weeks.
Giving up my smartphone challenged me to be more focused and organized as well. When I made plans, I stuck to them and expected others to do the same. I completed my assignments during business hours and didn’t stress about work unless I was actually at work. It was kind of great, frankly. I loved being able to live in the moment and disconnect from my workday.