Survival Diary: My Day Without a Phone

This morning, I accidentally left my phone at my boyfriend’s apartment. I realized this after I’d already gotten home, and he had left for the day. By then, it was too late. There was no retrieving it until his return.

This is the true, firsthand account of my day without a cell phone.

It is official: you are gone. I have just come upon this realization, and my devastation is unbearable. We will likely be reunited this evening, but that seems eons from now. iPhone, you are my folly, my support, my stability, my joy, my reason for getting out of bed each morning. I just don’t know how I’m going to make it through the day without you.

But I must proceed onward.

Hour 1 without my iPhone: Though I have no appetite, I managed to throw together a light dish for breakfast. And though, due to my grief, I put less effort into my meal as I normally would, it still came out looking positively exquisite. The eggs were cooked perfectly, two shiny yellow yolks surrounded by a thick white ring. A side of avocado toast, a dash of pepper, and a spritz of Sriracha sauce made my plate an absolute masterpiece. As I prepared to share my chef-d’oeuvre with the rest of the world through a Clarendon-filtered Instagram photo, I remembered that this would be impossible.

Your absence is made known in everything I do. I cannot escape reminders of your disappearance.

Hour 2: iPhone, it was amazing. I got in the shower and managed to erase the memory of your loss from my mind for a blissful ten minutes. Gone were my concerns over being apart from you, replaced with the steady trickle of warm water and soapy steam.

But immediately once I turned the water off, and heard no traces of your sweet sounds – a riveting Spotify playlist, an educational NPR podcast, or the smooth reading of an audiobook, for instance – all of my memories of you came rushing back, and the grief seemed to have doubled. Will I ever make it through the agony?

Hour 2.5: I got ready for my day in silence, missing your custom sounds to distract me from my thoughts. I took up humming briefly, as I thought I may die from the quiet infiltrating the air. But it simply wasn’t the same; the humming merely served as a reminder of my grim reality.

Oh, what melodies would I be playing from your tiny, delicate speakers right now, iPhone?

Hour 3: I managed to make it out of the house; I wasn’t sure if I would be able to today, without your comforting existence in my back pocket. But I had made previous plans with a dear friend, so onward I went. We agreed to meet in front of a local shop, but I suddenly fretted over these arrangements. What would I do if she didn’t arrive on time? What if I were to break down along the journey? What if there was a miscommunication in regards to the meeting destination? What if I get lost?

All of these fears and more fluttered around my head, fears that would normally be assuaged by your reassuring presence. Oh, iPhone, might it be a mistake to journey out into the world without you?

Hour 4: iPhone, good news. I made it to my destination without the slightest hint of an obstacle. Oh now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t miss your melodies, caressing my ears, throughout the expedition. The local radio’s Top 40 hits simply couldn’t compare, but alas, I had to settle.

My dear friend and I also managed to connect without difficulty, but the minute we sat down, my thoughts of you came flooding back. I couldn’t show my latest photos to her. I couldn’t share my location with all of my social media followers. I couldn’t reach out to my other companions when the conversation lulled, or when she momentarily excused herself.

We had a lovely afternoon of catching up, but the void in my heart was still too much to bear.

Hour 5: I must cast aside my humbleness for a moment, to share about the rare cooperation of my hair, and the astounding outfit coordination that I achieved today. Normally, iPhone, I would have used you to communicate these achievements with my friends and followers on every means of social media through a well-angled self-photograph. But just as with my breakfast, everyone will simply have to rely on their imaginations to presume what the image would look like.

My suspicions that you are irreplaceable are constantly confirmed. iPhone, our reunion cannot come soon enough.

Hour 6: I began reading a book. It’s hard to explain what exactly a book is, but it’s something that I used to imbibe in before I met you. Once you came into my life, however, I have never had any reason to pick it up again.

My efforts to read this book failed, however. I quickly became bored with all of the empty words, none of which were accompanied by an image in which I could comment on, or a hashtag in which I could click on to connect with others.

iPhone, forgive me for never realizing before just how much joy and pleasure you provided me throughout each day. I will never take your amusement for granted again.

Hour 6.5: This will be my last entry. I just cannot do it any longer. This time without you, iPhone, has just been much more difficult than I imagined. I have relinquished myself to a corner of the room, unable to find anything else to do with my mind without your limitless screen of possibilities in the palm of my hand.

iPhone, please know how much enjoyment you gave me throughout our years together, and how much simpler you made my life. I apologize for my feeble attitude, but I simply cannot go on any longer.

Hour 7: Is that…? Could it be…? A knock on the door…? Are my ears just hearing what they wish for…? Is this what dying feels like…? Or is that…? Someone at the door…? Here to return you to me…? Let me just…unfurl myself…retreat from the corner…get to the door…open it…and…YES! IT IS YOU! YOU HAVE RETURNED FROM YOUR CONFINEMENT AND INTO MY FINGERTIPS! OH, HOW I HAVE MISSED YOU! I THOUGHT FOR CERTAIN I WOULD NEVER…

16 texts, five Facebook messages, three Snaps, and a voicemail from my roommate?

Ok g2g bye


  1. The suspense of a Hitchcockian thriller combined with the longing of a Shakespeare tragedy – 5 Stars! Being without a phone for 7 hours is truly the unthinkable. At least in that 127 Hours story, the guy could videotape himself!

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