Modern Amputation: my week without a phone

Jacqueline Rayfield, Opinion Editor

Ten new messages, five new Facebook notifications, seven new emails, 20 new SnapChat Stories: just an ordinary day. With all the time we each spend looking at our devices, I had a question that needed answering: just how hard would it be to go a full week without any of these resources?
So I tried it. From April 12 to April 17, I went without technology.
Obviously, I had to use computers sometimes for classes or homework, so cutting out technology completely wasn’t possible. Instead I decided not to use any of my own technology. That meant I could use computers at school and in the library, but no phone or personal laptop.
Day one went fairly smoothly; I spent my Sunday with my family and did my homework on paper. I felt fully prepared for the start of my school week.
Monday started off strong too; I left my phone in a cabinet out of sight and kept my laptop closed. But halfway through my first period of the day, I was already missing my phone. Usually in my fifth period French class, I use my phone to translate words. But that was out of the question. Instead, I had to ask others or use a dictionary.
The rest of the day went well without my phone, but after school I had a problem: I needed to use a computer to do my homework. Instead of going home as I usually would, I headed to the Newcastle Library, but it turns out I needed my library card to access the library’s computers. Unfortunately, I got my library card when I was seven, meaning that the internet security setting was at the highest level. I couldn’t even access Google.
And after getting help with the computers from the librarian, Andy, who actually went to Liberty himself and became something of a friend to me throughout my week, I had yet another issue. I had an SAT Prep class in Kirkland, and had no idea how to get there. After thinking about it for close to 30 minutes (I’m embarrassed to say it actually took me that long), I realized there must be a way that people got directions before GPS. So I printed out directions at the library and safely got to my class on time.
The next few days were easier, as I was getting into a new routine of doing homework on paper or at the library. There were a few things I missed more than I probably should have: by Wednesday I was missing my favorite TV shows and by Thursday I found myself missing the blogs and websites that I usually frequent. And coordinating study sessions or just hanging out with friends became increasingly difficult.
By Friday, I was struggling. My friends were making weekend plans and I had no idea when or where they would be. I’m sorry to say, that late on Friday night, I cracked. I checked my phone, and on Saturday I was back to texting and emailing.
While I didn’t quite make it the whole week, I was still proud to be able to cut out my own technology use for as long as I did. I was also surprised how hard it was. It had become so essential in my life that something as simple as driving to a new place seemed almost impossible without it.
I definitely found positive changes in my life from this week without my devices. I read almost an entire non-school book, something I rarely find the time for. I also made a new friend, Andy the librarian, and will certainly be returning to the Library to study in the future for the quiet and comfortable studying atmosphere.
As beneficial as this week was, however, I’m not realistically going to cut these conveniences out of my daily life. It would just be too impractical. But however great this technology is, it’s nice to know I can live without it.