Liberating myself from my cell phone

I spent over 200 hours away from my phone!

If you just gasped, you probably need the phone liberation just as much as I did. For some of us, over the summer, a brief recess from your phone is not always voluntary, whether you volunteer at a summer camp without cell phone connection, or simply just leave your phone at home during a vacation – those of us who spent over a day without our devices and conquered the “Fear of Missing Out” know how liberating it is to not be under the clinging clutch of our cell phones. As someone who has lived through this, let me share my experience with you.

Communication is so much richer when it’s not on a screen.

Try to think of the last time you made someone laugh out loud, and I don’t just mean the reply message was “LOL.” Personal connection is literally a necessity for human survival. We are social creatures, not social media creatures. Think of all the deprivation from texting someone when you could have just met up with them in person. Studies show that body language, contact, and gestures all contribute to how humans communicate, and just goes to show that we are really not fully communicating with anyone unless we do it in person.

Fear of missing out? More like happy to live in the moment.

It seems as if there is some sort of magnetic field between our hands and cell phones. I don’t think an hour can pass where I don’t pick up my phone to at least, “check the time.” It sounds silly, but I encourage you to put your phone within reach but not touch it. You might feel like those dogs in the obedience classes who have a hotdog in front of them, but can’t touch it. The drool dripping off their lips and the anxiety in their eyes. Okay, so we might not be drooling…

Your thoughts are your own.

It’s refreshing to let your mind wander sometimes. To sit somewhere, whether it be waiting in line or in a car ride, and not be scrolling through a media page or Googling something. Even something as simple as a birthday present gets deterred to an app, I’m guilty of it too, I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to it, but it’s even more rewarding when an original idea turns out just as good – actually better because it’s personal.

Consider what you use your phone to do.

For some of us, being a week or even a day without a phone is impossible due to either work or family obligations. In this case, I encourage you to use an app such as BreakFree, which shows you how much you use your phone and how long you spent on certain apps. It’s certainly eye opening to see that the time adds up, and puts into perspective how much you really use your phone – and how productive you are with it.

Obviously, phones are not the ultimate evil. They allow us to stay connected with friends and family and help us locate the nearest Taco Bell when we are in a different town. However, I learned so much more about my friends by talking to them – not just scrolling through their Facebook feed. I also found that wandering around a town, and exploring, is a whole lot more fun than typing destination into your GPS. For all these reasons and more, I encourage you to disconnect and try to liberate yourself from your phone. Whether it be just a day or a whole week – I encourage you to come back and share your experience with Pearson Students. It’s amazing what we see when we look up from our screens.

jessica-albright-thumb-150x150Jessica is a junior at Missouri State University majoring in Marketing with a minor in International Management. She will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in December 2016, and is accepted to an accelerated Masters of Business Administration program to complete her MBA the following year. Jessica is member of Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society,  Ad Club, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Fraternity.