I recently 'took the plunge' and decided to purchase a second-hand Nokia 2720 Flip. It has only been a week but life without the weight of an iPhone X has truly been freeing; I finally started this blog that I've been thinking about since the New Year rolled around.
Now, I should note that the Nokia 2720 Flip is not a complete 'dumbphone' but rather a 'phone-of-average-intelligence'; it browses the web (albeit at a pace I haven't experienced since I first started using a computer in 2007), and it has apps such as Whatsapp, Facebook, and Google Maps. That last one is the reason I went for this phone as opposed to a completely 'dumbphone'; I am a dunce when it comes to directions, and now as a mum in a pandemic, I can't afford to get lost with my baby and ask strangers for them.
Getting a simpler phone is something that I have always wanted to do, though my parents have always discouraged me and said I wouldn't be able to. Now that I live independently from them with my partner and our child, I was finally free to make my own decision and there were a few factors that made me finally decide to go for it:
Firstly, I am a full-time student and a full-time mum and I often say I 'don't have time' to do the things I need to do, such as study ... or eat. The reality is, I do have time, I am just very proficient in wasting it, the 'just a quick scroll... oops I fell down a rabbit hole and wasted 45 minutes' was an occurrence too frequent it would be embarrassing to admit.
The most important reason was my 6-month-old daughter. Though I was always with her and available to give her everything she needed, I often found myself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, glancing up at her. I know I sound awful, but I'm sure I'm not the only mum to find herself guilty of it.
Not only that, I am part of the first generation who has grown up with social media being an integral part of life and communication amongst peers and I am astutely aware of the effects this can have on one's mental health and I want to do everything I can to be a good role model for my daughter, so she doesn't think she needs it, and hopefully doesn't want it. I don't even want to think how much of my life I have wasted comparing my life and self with others based off of a carefully curated timeline, nor how much time I wasted carefully curating my own timeline just so that the amount of 'likes' I got would indicate how 'liked' I truly am.
My partner told me that if I could last a week, I could officially get rid of my old phone. And I did. It has officially been a week as of today and anything I could say about this experience so far may just sound hyperbolic but bare with me. I honestly feel freer. A kind of freedom that I haven’t felt since before I first signed up to Twitter – a gateway platform to the others – when I was 12. I am more present with my daughter and my partner as I no longer feel the need to be available 24/7 to everyone I know, and only keep in touch with those who mean the most to me. I am keeping up with reading and studying at uni and am even researching outside of what I absolutely have to, simply for the love of it – I’ve also rediscovered my love of writing, which I hope shows as my blog here develops. Going to bed at night feeling as though I accomplished everything I could have in that day gives me a great deal of confidence; time is precious, and I am starting to use it wisely – I think.
Trading in your smartphone for something a little more simple or even just taking a social media detox for a while is an action I’d highly recommend, especially if you’re feeling swamped, under pressure, or just in need of more time.