Look, Ma! No Phone!

by Molly Schlinger, http://neovox.cortland.edu, March 3, 2011

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One week. No cell phone. Seven days. No texting. 168 hours. No brick breaker. How did I do it? I'm not quite sure. Did my social life diminish? Did my friends all disappear? Did the world suddenly implode? No. In fact not a single one of those even remotely happened throughout my week. However, there are apparently many people who do believe this would happen if they were to go without their phones for a week.

According to TreeHugger, in a study conducted by CTIA (an international association for worldwide telecommunication) and Harris Interactive, it was found that amongst 2,089 teenagers, ages 13-19, 57% say that they view their cell phone as the key to their social life. In the same study, 47% of teens say that their social life would end or be worsened if they had no cell phone. A couple of scary statistics, don't you think? How about the fact that four out of five teens carry a wireless device, a 40% increase since 2004? If that doesn't do it for you then maybe this will: 42% of teens can text with their eyes closed.

With one billion texts going out per day in America, it's pretty easy to believe when teenagers say that they are now texting more than actually speaking. Isn't this what we are all so afraid of? Losing face-to-face contact? A world where we no longer have to seek out time in our daily lives to sit down and have conversations about the weather or the Yankees? Could this be happening to us? I sure hope not.

I went a week without a cell phone for a reason. Not to spew out statistics in an article and not to have an excuse to dodge calls from my mother every night, but in fact, to prove something. I wanted to prove to myself and anyone else who cares: we can live without cell phones. As contrary as that may be to popular belief, I made it through that week, and I am still living to this day. I still managed to have friends, I still went out on the town on Thursday and Friday and Saturday like a regular college kid. I still woke up on time with an alarm and went to all of my classes and had lunch with all of my friends. My life truly continued!

It was simple proof that our generation doesn't need to be labeled "technology obsessed" and "couldn't survive a day without a cell phone attached to their hand," even if we do easily give off that image.

I walked to class every day that week and decided to observe the students and faculty of our campus. Nearly every single girl that I passed by had a cell phone in hand. This is not to say that girls are the only ones feverishly addicted to the technology, but seeing as we don't have the luxury of huge pants pockets, most of us carry our phones in our hand. Although even with the large pocket excuse I saw a great number of guys traveling with it in their hand as well. Step one in creating our "phone attached to the hand" image.

The next thing I observed was the in-class texting. It actually blew my mind. I can't say that I'm perfect and have never texted in class, but I saw some people go at it like they were writing a damn novel on their phone! I couldn't believe how many people had their phones out in my lecture class. I look to the right and there is a guy with his phone down by his left leg trying to hide his texting. In front of my I see two girls sitting together and simultaneously texting behind their purses! Such clever ways of breaking the rules nowadays.

Now, with all of this talk about how I survived the week of cellular abstinence superbly, I must admit that I did run into a few hardships along the way. One day I forgot
my SUNY Cortland ID card that also serves as my meal card. I had to pay cash that day. Another day I managed to forget a paper on my desk, which could have been brought to me, had I had a phone to call my wonderfully nice roommate and ask her to drive it over for me. Simple things like that manage to happen about once a day; however, I managed to press on anyway. It wasn't the end of my world. And it shouldn't be the end of anyone's.

I'm sick and tired of having adults whine to me about how "kids these days wouldn't be able to breathe without their cell phones attached to their ears and hands."

Well, you know what adults?

I did it...and with breathing room left to spare.

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