Campus Life, Lifestyle

Spending the day without my phone

Just this Tuesday, I had dental implant surgery, and I woke up the day after with a swollen cheek and a pounding headache. I checked my phone the moment I woke up, as I usually do, but this time I was met with a sharp pain in my head and the overwhelming sensation that I had to put it down.

I made the spontaneous decision to shut off my phone for the entire day, because looking at that small electronic screen made me dizzy.

slide to power off button on iphone
Shutting off your phone for a day gives you the opportunity to try new activities and appreciate your surroundings. ILLUSTRATION BY HANNAH YOSHINAGA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Now, this article won’t be about the day I ventured into a flower field or ran along a trail in the forest enjoying nature, but rather the day I tried not to sit in bed and complain about my growing toothache … all without my phone.

I forced myself to be productive the entire day because if I passed out again in bed, the nap would last five to six hours. That would have been an entire day dedicated to productivity gone to waste, especially considering I had contacted all my professors and let them know I was using the day to heal.

After taking painkillers and antibiotics, I made breakfast. It was just some avocado toast and scrambled eggs, but I purposefully made it very aesthetically pleasing and Instagram-worthy. I fought the urge to post it on my social media and instead sat on the balcony and ate breakfast with my mom.

Chatting with my mom has always been easy, but this time I wasn’t scrolling through TikTok or Snapchat to show her a funny video. It was just me and her. We started talking about my friends, my future and all the things we wanted to do once the pandemic was over. It surprised me how refreshing it was to not have technology involved in our conversation for once.

After that, I played video games with my brother. I know this is technically cheating, but there was no way I was going outside with a balloon-sized cheek. My dentist also ordered me not to do any exercise for two weeks, so I wasn’t able to go down to the dance studio in the lobby of my apartment complex.

When the afternoon rolled in, I got the sudden urge to bake macarons. My mom went out to buy the ingredients and we got started. I usually prefer cooking, but the thought of getting near a stovetop fire at that moment sounded like a nightmare. Although the macarons tasted horrible, the experience made it worthwhile.

I then had a sudden urge to flop down on my bed and text a few of my friends — so I went straight to the bathroom and pulled out my makeup bag. Because why not?

Putting on makeup without blasting Ariana Grande through my Spotify “bad b!tch” playlist was certainly depressing. Still, my brother was jamming out to his music that sounded very similar to a shrieking goat, and my mom had relaxing music playing by the living room, so I certainly wasn’t glamming myself up in silence.

After putting on an entire face of makeup, I finally went outside — after all, the sun was beginning to set so there was little chance anyone would pay my giant cheek any attention.

As I walked along the harbor and saw twinkling lights from the apartments towering over me and heard cars honking in the street, I had to admit, it felt nice to finally be connected with the world around me again.

I realized that if I squinted really hard, I could make out the North Star. If I listened super closely, I could hear the crickets chirping in the bushes. It wasn’t something I would’ve noticed if I had my nose in my phone. It made me appreciate the smaller details that I easily miss every day.

I hope this wasn’t too corny. It’s a friendly reminder that leaving your phone at home isn’t necessarily a bad decision. Even after a recent surgery and a pounding headache for most of the day, I was able to enjoy so many moments of bliss.

To everyone who thought I’d die in the wilderness, not because it’s an unforgiving place but because I wouldn’t have my phone … haha. I proved you wrong.

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