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Bellingham
Monday, July 6, 2020

Happy Holidays, Where’s My Phone?

By Emily Erskine

Winter break officially begins next week. Cue the incessant scrolling, posting and liking on all social media platforms day in and day out. 

I give myself milestones to look forward to in this hectic student life. I anticipate the weekends, the three-day weekends, Thanksgiving break and most importantly winter break. It comes right when I need it most. Maybe even a little too late.

Fall quarter is daunting. It drags on, it’s dark, it’s cold for the first time in months, and maybe I was over ambitious this time. Long story short, I am so happy it is coming to an end. 

But as I always do when the long anticipated vacations arrive, I sit in bed all day scrolling… calling it a “break.”

It almost makes me wonder, are we ever really getting time off when all most of us do with it is stare blankly into a screen for hours on end?

According to an article written by Mission.org:

  • 60% of U.S. college students consider themselves to have a smartphone addiction
  • 35% of people think about their phones upon waking, while only 10% think of their significant other
  • 71% of people sleep with (or next to) their smartphones
  • 44% of 18–24-year-old’s have fallen asleep with their phone in their hand
  • Nearly 40% of people never disconnect from their mobile devices

Quarter breaks should be a time of relaxation, not a time of apathy and isolation. But living in the digital age where we never have to be “bored,” and all of our friends, lovers, work and assignments are in our pockets at all times, how do we achieve unplugging?

I’m looking forward to freedom from class but dreading my powerlessness to my phone. I know it’s a modern day dilemma, but one that clearly affects a lot of us. 

College is challenging and we all deserve a break. But an actual break, one where we take the time to do all of the things we said we wanted to do and not lay on the couch refreshing Twitter for the umpteenth time. 

So, cheers to next week, the holidays and trying to stay present in a time of technological addiction.

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