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PHONELESS DAY: LIFE BEYOND SCREENS

By Almendra Carrion


Have you ever wondered what your life would look like if you didn't have a phone? Technology has become a part of our daily lives and jobs. They are a funda­mental tool for us and the differ­ent roles we play in life whether as a student, an employee, a business owner, or just as a loved one.


I remember my first phone; growing up in Peru, Nokia phones were a sensation. Down­loading ringtones from my MP3 was as far as I could personalize it.


In those days, technology was more limited, but we had access to other types of entertainment. We used our imagination and interacted more with our neigh­borhood friends and family. Charades, hide-and-seek, hop­scotch—these were the games back in the day before there were advanced iPads and cool iPhones.


Nowadays, we are losing the im­portance of creating face-to-face interactions and being present with others. Sometimes we use our phones as a shield, especial­ly when we are going through moments of anxiety or want to be distracted quickly. We bom­bard ourselves with stimuli and overwhelm ourselves when we’re bored.


The Buccaneer conducted a survey polling how long Barry students can go without their phones. Surprisingly, 33.1 % responded they could only last for two hours (it might be work-relat­ed). And the numbers dwindled to 24.6 % who chose six hours (a good amount to be in peace), About 18% can go a day without a device, 10.8% for two days, and 13.1% for one week.


“I tend to wake up late, so in my phone I put a lot of alarms,” said Lizbeth Viera, an advertising sophomore, about her tech-de­pendency. “Also, my phone distracts me, so by setting alarms I can get back to my homework without delays.”


Cell phones are conveniently multifaceted because they help us to get to different places, to learn how to prepare new recipes, meet people, study and get work done. Our devices even contain our payment information and allow us to buy anything from anywhere without our wallet. They replaced our MP3s, corded and cordless telephones, camer­as, calculators and alarm clocks. Our phones have become an extension of us.


“Sometimes, when trying to be more efficient or work on the phone, I get distracted by other apps that are for entertainment, which makes me lose time and track of what I was supposed to do,” said Emily Gonzalez, an advertising student junior. “I've been trying to implement different methods to stop these distractions, such as using screen timers and also hiding my enter­tainment apps on another screen rather than my home or princi­pal screen.”


If we don't pay attention, most of us social media users can find ourselves scrolling for hours without realizing it. That's when time flies and we are left with the feeling of anxiety and confusion because we don't fulfill more important activities such as doing homework, cooking, or simply giving ourselves some time to stop and reconnect with ourselves through conscious breathing.


“I’m pretty much glued to my phone most of the time. The downside is I constantly feel distracted or sometimes even isolated from the real world,” said Yamile Escalona, a junior studying graphic design. “There are times I am scrolling through social media for hours without even realizing it. It is not the healthiest habit.”


What content we consume, listen to, and see has a direct impact on our mental health. But every­thing in life starts from a balance because if we don't designate a specific time for different ac­tivities, we as students can get overwhelmed with so many tasks to accomplish.


For this, use the calendars at­tached to a phone, Outlook, or Google account to make bound­aries and organize one's week. With reminders, it is a great option to manage time effectively, including to make down time.


Here are various activities you could do without the presence of your phone:

  • Painting

  • Writing

  • Taking a walk to the park

  • Grounding yourself (my favorite!)

  • Cooking something you like and experimenting

  • Decluttering your space (it is said that the state of our bedroom reflects our state of mind)

  • Reading the book, you promised to finish a few months ago

  • Playing with your pets (10 min of play with your furry friends can help them drain all that ener­gy)

 

The main key is to organize your time to nurture the different areas of your life. My psychologist ex­plained this as the pizza slices of life: finances, health, social, enter­tainment, family, profession and/ or school. They are all important to our well-being and should be balanced rather than building on one more than the others.

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