Posted in Features

Living wireless: Things are getting darker than my screen on power-save mode

Okay, so maybe this is going to be a lot harder than I imagined

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Image Credits: Alexa Tarrayo

This is the third post in a week-long web series that documents Preethi’s day-to-day experiences while forgoing a relationship with her cellphone. Check back daily for the next article.

Do you wake up in the morning, reach for your phone, and spend an hour in your bed looking through it? Because I sure do. On my third day, I reached for my phone and realized that I couldn’t use it. I wanted to, I really did, I even asked myself if anyone would notice. . . yikes.

Day three has, by far, been the day where I feel the most agitated and deprived of something I need. It hasn’t been a great weekend.

I got out of bed and went for a run because Saturday is the day for self-love. The sun was out, and I wished to take pictures and wondered why it was even necessary that I capture the beauty around me. This urge had to be more than “capturing a moment.” This had to be social media capital.

I tried to have a normal Saturday; I made breakfast for the bae and later made my way to a party. As I expected, the day got tough, then it got tougher. I wanted to show my friends that I had made hollandaise sauce from scratch this morning, and I wanted to share pictures from my get-together. My social media capital was brimming with options, but I couldn’t showcase it. Day three felt like my phone was giving me the boot and I just wanted it back so badly.

My relationship with my phone can be quite important as a means of communication. Communication became harder with people as I had asked everyone to email me if they needed anything.

While cooking, I used my phone to play some music while I switched to airplane mode. Amidst preparation, I noticed that I would unlock and lock my phone, I would even sift through my gallery without purpose — a mindless habit. Even though I excelled at not accessing the internet, I wasn’t very aware of my activity. Not regulating, not being self-aware of my interaction with a phone isn’t very different from any other addiction, if you ask me.

I did not start using a phone until I was in the 10th grade. I only had a personal computer that I shared with my sister since I was a kid; I mostly used to draw patterns in paint and fill them with colours. But, at the age of 15, something overcame me and I asked my dad to buy me a phone.

At the age of 20, when I look back on the past five years, I didn’t care about my phone when I was in class, camp, boarding school, or other such situations. But, when I could access my phone, I had to be on it constantly, more or less. My mother, even today, tells me how she misses the younger me, zealous even though I got on her nerves sometimes. Here comes existential crisis number one. . . did time change me or did my cellphone alongside my social media change me?

Perhaps I miss my younger self, too. This challenge is forcing me to reflect on my daily routine and face what I generally wouldn’t have to, even though I should. I have an addiction to my phone and I need to help myself out of this addiction. Always remember that Kanye said: “Admitting is the first step.”

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