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Well, for one thing, it's the coolest high school newspaper in all the land. Watch our video and find out more.
Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
BY ANGELINA DeVINCENZO, East Lake High
I’m one of those people who has always said my phone is my life.
But I really had no clue just how true that was, until I decided to try this experiment: Seven days. One-hundred and sixty-eight hours. No cell phone.
What could be so hard? After all, just 40 years ago, before the first cell phones came out, people used to go to high school without such a lifeline.
Yes, but how did they survive? How did they make plans? How did they keep track of what they had to do?
My phone is more than metal and plastic. My phone contains every piece of information I need: It’s my address book. My camera. My music player. My entertainment. It is where I take notes, stay in touch with friends and research anything and everything.
Did I say it’s my life?
I decided not to tell anyone besides my family what I was doing. The rules are that I could use landlines when I needed to, and I could use my friends’ cell phones to contact my parents only. I could use a computer, where I could access social networking sites and my email but, because computers are not always where I am, this is not going to be convenient.
One out of every three teens sends 100 texts a day. For seven days, I would be sending zero.
By the end of day, I feel lost. We’re out of school because of a tropical storm warning, and I have not talked to anyone except residents of my house all day, and I miss a chance to hang out with friends. I decide to clean my room, and I ALWAYS blast Pandora during this activity. Today, things have to change. I shuffle through my basket of CDs, remove the dust particles from my CD player and turn on my middle school jams. Memories come dancing in with the beat. I spend an extraordinarily long time setting my alarm clock to wake me up for school the next morning. It’s like a foreign object. I can not remember the last time I used it. I pray it will actually remember to wake me up.
Much to my surprise, my dinosaur of a clock wakes me up for school. It is strange to not wake up and immediately use my phone. Rarely do I ever get out of bed without checking my texts, Facebook, Instagram, etc. This morning, there is nothing else to do but get right up. I certainly am ready a lot faster.
As I head out the door, I say goodbye to my phone. Except for not ever knowing what time it is (they should really put a huge clock tower in the middle of the school), and that I can not get a hold of anyone, not having my phone at school is not that difficult.
Groggily I open my eyes and stare at the silent alarm clock sitting innocently on my side table. The bright blue numbers glare back and I struggle to see the time. When I finally focus, I realize that my alarm has failed to go off, and I had slept in! Bring it on Day 3. I decide to take my phone with me today, just to test myself. This makes my experiment so much harder. Throughout the day, friends text me to make plans and I cannot answer! I feel so bad. I always hate when people don’t answer me, and now I’m doing it to them. By the end of the day, I am really over this whole no-phone thing.
I feel my phone taunting me from inside my purse, begging me to use it, trying to convince me there is no way I can make it through the week without using it. I hunker down. I am not going to give in, no matter how many hourlong minutes go by during this class.
Have you ever experienced one of those moments where you receive a piece of information and immediately want to talk to the person involved? Today, that happens to me. Right in the middle of softball practice. No phone. Do messenger doves still exist?
Nothing in the world is harder than making plans without a cell phone.
Navigating my way home proves overwhelming. My friend is supposed to give me a ride home and throughout the day I try to find her to confirm the plan is still intact. I recruit a couple of mutual friends to text her, but hear no response. As the day comes to a close, I worry I am out of luck, until I realize my car friend has a class right across the hall from mine. I run over to her classroom door and wave my hands in front of the window to grab her attention. The ride is on.
Planning for the first football game of the season is another challenge. I organize as much as I can with my friends at school, but the rest is up to luck because we have no way of contacting each other. Right after school, I head straight to work. Finally my friend who has been trying to reach me gives up and drives to my job and we leave for the game from there. Challenge two, tackled.
I keep busy and try to ignore the fact that I don’t have a phone. I am counting down the minutes of my 168-hour phone fast. I cannot wait to get it back, yet at the same time, I am somewhat upset that it is over. I now think that every once in awhile it won’t be a bad idea to unplug, and see what surprises I find when I’m not attached to the human shield a phone becomes.
Like being able to do something productive instead of playing games on my phone whenever I have a few minutes. Or, talking to people face to face instead of texting; interacting in person is good.
This journey has shown me I actually could have survived in the time before cell phones. It has shown me that my phone does not have to be my life.