man wearing gray and red armour standing on the streets

a week without a phone

My phone stopped working last Wednesday. It’s actually been pretty cool not having a phone! At first, I panicked. I went apeshit bananas and screamed and punched and kicked a punching bag for an hour in the rain. Not just because of my phone, mind you. There’s other things going on, too. At any rate, it was a much needed stress release. Anymore, I just want to draw and run and jump. I haven’t felt like reading or writing, though, and am very far behind on my reading challenge. Oh well.

The final weekend of the St. Louis Renaissance Festival was last week. It was really interesting going out without a phone. The drive was about 45 minutes. I used a paper map. Retro, right?

Being at the Ren Fest was the most homesick I’ve ever felt in my entire life. My family would have loved it there. I just know older sister would have dressed up, and my younger sister would have loved the petting zoo. Pops would have gotten a kick out of the music (there was a hilarious song about f*cking a moose!) and I’m sure mom would have cheered her face off at the knight duels. Maybe I could have even convinced my younger sister to try some of the blackberry mead (it was delicious)!

Photo by B Kremer on Unsplash

I tried leaving a couple of times. Walked right out the gate. I even cried. But something kept telling me to stay. After about an hour and a half of missing home, things got better. I tried taking lots of photos to show my family later. It would have been nice to be able to call them.

The next day, I brought myself to Six Flags. Or maybe it was the night before. I don’t remember. It doesn’t matter anyways. Two families adopted me there!

It was a bit of a sandwich. I met the first family while waiting in line to get in and we were just chitchatting, passing the time. The dad was super nice. Most of the reason I was there was for the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the dad said he was bringing his kids to see it for the first time! It was his third time seeing it live, and he was so super excited to see it again.

That was my first time at Six Flags. I loved it! While waiting in line for the first ride, I started chitchatting with the family next to me. They invited me to spend the evening going on rides with them, which I happily did. I was even invited to an event with the uncle the next day! It sounded very fun, but without my phone I had no way of finding directions to actually get there. Who knows, maybe we’ll cross paths again.

Come 11 o’clock, it was time for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Who did I end up next to in line but the family from waiting at the gate! They invited me to sit with them, and so the night was started and ended with the same lovely group of people.

I told you about the guy who lent me his camera, right? I was supposed to give it back last week. Well, my phone stopped working after I told him I was ready to give it back. At this point, he probably thinks that I’ve stolen it. Oops. Don’t worry, don’t worry, I’ll give it back! Just as soon as I’m actually able to contact the guy to set up a time and place to meet up. As it is now, that’s just not possible. And hey, it gives me time to find a way to store all of the photos I’ve taken. Over 700! Because honestly, my cheapo little Chromebook simply will not hold all of those photos, I just know it. Maybe I’ll just keep the memory card and buy him a new one.

Aside from losing access to text messaging, I was locked out of my Google accounts for a while. Damn the 2 factor authentication! Luckily, my accounts were still logged into my work computers. There was a job interview I was supposed to go to via Zoom meeting, but was unfortunately unable to access the link. Would you believe that after no-call no-showing the interview, the employer has set up another interview for me?!

I’ll have to print out a map to the interview location. This time it’ll be in person, just to avoid any other technical issues. There’s another showing of the RHPS that I’ll probably be going to, which means I’ll need a map for that too. It’s an hour away. I can’t wait!

Honestly, it’s been great not having a phone. Aside from the initial panic, of course. Using paper maps has helped me to get more familiar with my city, and it’s taught me that if/when I get lost, I’ll be able to rely on myself to find my way.

Not having constant access to social media has forced me to confront some difficult emotions that, quite frankly, I’ve been actively avoiding. Throughout this whole ordeal, I think and I hope that I’ve learned at least a little bit about a little bit of something.

I’ve learned that I hate relying on things. Sure, I knew that I hated relying on other people for anything, but turns out I really hate relying on technology, too! In fact, I even went to AT&T to get myself a flip phone and see what it’s like returning to a simpler way of life.

© OpenStreetMap contributors, CC BY 1.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0, via Wikimedia Commons

But….it was $100 for the phone and a month of service. I refuse to pay $100 for a flip phone! That doesn’t mean I can’t still simplify, right? That idea is still an egg though, so we’ll sit on it for a little bit.

Just remember, folks: people and technology are unreliable! If there’s something you can do for yourself, make sure that you’re able to do it instead of taking the easy way out every time.

A more unexpected discovery was just how much I missed listening to the radio. Something about hearing people discuss music and the impact it’s had on their life, and hearing rock stars talk about their lives, is just very relaxing.

That being said….Spotify Premium is worth every penny! I’ve heard Pinball Wizard more times this week than every time in my entire life combined. It’s a great song! But I miss my Taiwanese indie rock.

And I miss my friends! WeChat, a Chinese app that has basically everything, isn’t accessible over the web without phone activation. 我的朋友们,我想你们!你吃得好吗?你的老师对你好吗?啊!Now that I think about it, I would have lost connection with my friends in Wuhan and Hong Kong if I would have gotten a flip phone. 哎呀!

At any rate, it’s been a great experience! Stressful, sure, but also fun and challenging in new and exciting ways. That being said…..I hope my new phone is delivered soon!


All of the pictures here are from Unsplash or Wikimedia Commons. Hopefully I’ll get my own added soon enough! Thank you for reading about, well, nothing really. Come back soon!

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