Rhetoric & Composition I Rotating Header Image

Sam: no-phone journal

11:24 AM

I have reached into my empty pocket twice

I noticed on the elevator the five other people were glued to their phones and I felt different. One of them gave me a strange look because I had nothing to do on the elevator ride but people-watch. I also had to put a real watch on today, and I like checking my watch. I also just realized that I don’t have an alarm to wake me up for class tomorrow… I told my mom that bring an alarm clock to college was stupid. But yet again, like she always is, my mom is right. At least my phone is not broken. Whenever I imagine m phone screen shattering or my phone breaking my heart actually speeds up. How have I become so connected to a piece of metal? I have friends who name their phones, but that’s creepy.

12:00 PM

Insight: I actually have a skewed version of time and less patience. I have to wait for someone to email me back. I HAVE TO WAIT. WITH NOTHING TO DO… no Snapchat, Instagram, nothing.

4:00 PM

I have been stood up by someone because I couldn’t check my texts that said they were going to cancel. So I guess I wasn’t technically stood up, but it did suck.

8:00 PM

I got all ready for bed and I like to check all my social media junk before I sleep and I couldn’t… so I just drifted off. I found this much more peaceful and I was able to review my day and my thoughts, so I think it was healthier to do that.


8:35 AM


I didn’t know that I would experience such a rude awakening on Wednesday. I had a mild panic attack as I got dressed (but basically left in my PJs) and ran to the SAC. I got to my classroom and I begged my professor to let me take the exam and start it late with tears in my eyes. He ended up letting me take it and I barely finished.


At this point, adrenaline is still coursing through my veins from almost missing my exam, so I got a lot of chores done. I also was able to read my New York Times without any distraction.

3:00 PM

I was able to focus more on my homework and I worked on projects that are not due for a while. I hate to admit that I let my phone distract me, but it really does. Not having it feels strange because I also have one less thing to keep track of, so its stress reliving. But I constantly feel like I’m missing something. I look for my phone in my pockets but then I have a sigh of relief because I don’t have it.

7:30 PM

I went to a meeting for club and then I watched American Horror Story with a friend and I was disappointed because I had to keep asking her to check twitter and tell me what the live tweets were.

Before I went to bed I watched the democratic debate on YouTube and it put me to sleep.


9:30 AM

Woke up and thought about my day and the zero plans I have. Went to the library with friends and worked all day.


Took a nap, which I previously never could because I was on my phone during “nap-time”.

8:00 PM

Went out with friends, and it was strange to be so ignored. People are constantly checking things, taking selfies, and I had allowed myself to become desensitized to it. I value face-to-face conversation more than the average young adult but I was so surprised by how a group of people can all be so present and so removed at the same time. I was physically surrounded by friends but I was alone. I had no distraction when waiting for the train but to think about my day and reflect. I realized that I wasn’t missing out on anything not having my phone. I felt so free from all the crap that absorbs my peers 27/7.


12:00 AM

Part of me doesn’t want to get my phone back tomorrow. I have had a few deep conversations with new friends at DePaul, I made a new acquaintance, and I became more aware of the world around me. I wonder how it would be without any screens for longer than a week, I believe disconnecting, even if just for an afternoon of peace… can be healthy. Even though everyone I told about this was appalled and concerned about my sanity, I hope it got them to think about what really matters to them.