Recently, I broke my phone. I’m talking dropped it, shattered, and screen was completely black and staying that way. I was without a cell phone for 2 days, and let me tell you that I did not realize how much I relied on it until I had to go without it.
The thoughts going through my head when my phone wouldn’t turn on were:
- How am I going to wake up in the morning without an alarm?
- How am I going to answer emails when I’m away from my laptop?
- How am I going to communicate with the various group members that I have for group projects this semester?
- How am I going to get to places I’m unsure of where they are without my GPS?
All this, aside from not being able to talk to my friends and family was racing through my head when my important cell phone suddenly was out of use for me.
In this moment, it became more apparent to me than ever before how much I rely on my cell phone. And I know I’m not the only one. The chart below was made from a study by the Mobile Movement and displays how most people use their smart phones.
The number one cause of cell phone use is to check and send emails, which wagon of my high concerns when I dropped my cell phone and broke it. In another study done by the Pew Internet Project, results show that:
- 67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.
- 44% of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls, text messages, or other updates during the night.
- 29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.”
Americans, including myself, rely deeply on their cell phones in order to function properly daily. Maybe it was good for me to be without my phone for a couple days, even if it was unintentional. It was a bit of a digital detox, and I may start to purposely detox more often now.