Losing my phone for a week gave me a fresh perspective

By Christina Soto | Broadcast Reporter

You always hear the saying, “You never appreciate something fully until it’s gone,” and I never realized how true that was until this last week. I have never been a person that values my phone. My friends consider me a “bad texter” because I never respond or my phone is dead. However, I never realized how much I depended on my phone until this week when it broke.

Initially, I was devastated because I had not backed up my phone to my iCloud, so I lost my contacts and photos. To me, losing my photos and memories was more devastating than losing my physical phone. However, that changed throughout the week, as I realized how dependent I am on my phone as a whole.

Scheduling was one of the biggest issues while I didn’t have a phone. In order to schedule study groups, interviews or meet with my friends, I had to email them and wait for their reply. If I was late, there was no way that I could let anyone know. Finding my friends at the library was so difficult without a phone to know where they were, so I had to pull out my computer and send them an email. I was constantly stressed about making it on time everywhere and hoping I would be able to find my friends.

However, the worst part about not having a phone was how unsafe I felt. Driving around Waco and trying to find a repair shop for my phone was stressful because I was praying I didn’t get lost or my car would not break down. Being alone on the streets of Waco, without a way to get in touch with anyone was something I was not prepared for. The idea of being stranded without a phone and a broken car terrified me.

One day, I stayed in the newsroom until midnight by myself and I began to freak myself out. I kept thinking about the worst scenarios possible. I was worried because if something were to happen I would have no phone to call for help. Even though a phone doesn’t do anything in that type of situation, it still provides a sense of security knowing you have access to reach the police at your fingertips.

Stressing about these daily activities like getting lost in Waco, not being able to meet someone at a certain time and worrying about my safety at night or alone in the car put things into perspective for me. As I complained to my mom, she made me realize that everything I had experienced that week was a commonality for her growing up. She was constantly nervous about getting in the car alone and getting lost because if she did, she would have to stop for directions. Walking at night was not something she did because she did not have a way to protect herself or a sense of security, like a phone. Meeting someone in that time meant you were there early or on-time because there was no other way to switch plans.

I believe our generation has taken what we have for granted. We don’t appreciate how much easier it is now with technology than before. Not having a phone for a week gave me more respect for my mom. She has always been a very independent person, who lived in four different countries and several states in her late twenties, with no cellphones and only pagers. Her day-to-day life was more stressful than mine will ever be because she had to worry about situations I would not even think to worry about today because of technology. It isn’t until you don’t have a phone that you realize how much you actually need it for daily activities.