Subtract the cell

Photo by Kai Hendry via Flickr

Itzel Basuado/Contributing Writer

After assessing my phone bills from the past year, it’s safe to estimate, but unfortunate and a bit sad to concede,  that I exchange with my friends and some family members around 4,000 texts a month.

Born at the start of this digital generation, I’ve seen others around me, myself included, become absorbed into this technological warp. We can’t seem to, and refuse to, let go of our devices; the amount of texts I send a month is just a faint representation and example of this alarming pandemic.

When we’re sitting alone, instead of pulling out a book, we stare at our phones and scroll through our Instagram and Twitter. We instantly look for company, even if it’s virtual. It’s hard for us to get away from our devices – we’re slaves to our own technologies. They’re practically like drugs.

Distancing ourselves from our phones induces anxiety because we can’t “communicate” with anyone, we can’t Tweet meaningless jargon and suddenly we feel even more alone.

We are an organism that likes to be surrounded by other individuals, however, sometimes we need that alone time to look around, think and enjoy the world around us.

Take this month to be free of technological devices for an hour a day. By  free I mean turn your phone off and stick it in a drawer then stay away for an hour.

This is your hour to be human. Go to your local park, bring out a book and read until your eyes hurt because the sun’s gone down. Talk to people and look at them in the eye; encourage them to also unchain themselves from their phones. Write about anything. Go for a run and listen to the sounds of our concrete jungle. Paint or draw, regardless of your level of skill. Try to learn an instrument. Solitude can be blissful.

This is a time for you to meditate on life and be at ease with yourself. Don’t just go to Google for an answer — postulate and enjoy the wonder our generation has been robbed of.

We’ve enclosed ourselves in a bubble of cynicism and vanity; we’re forgetting the human quality of inquiry.  You can now fully devote your attention to just one thing and not feel the need to check your notifications.

An hour free of communication devices, for some reason, feels liberating. There’s this strange, mystical feeling about living without a cell phone. You become above the petty gossip and daily frolicking of your peers. It’s as if you begin to see life without random bits of useless information constantly thrown at you.

We’ve all heard someone say “I want to get away from everything.” They want to escape the monotony of routine, going away to travel thousands of miles to a remote, idyllic island in order to find serenity. Little do they know that this peaceful haven isn’t as far as it may seem. Perhaps all you need to do is abandon your cell phone.

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