Phoneless Life


Anna Gong/Chronicle

Brittany Hong

It was on a Tuesday winter afternoon. I was meeting with my teacher right before the buses left and that was when my day began to morph into a disaster.

3:12 p.m. — I walked out of the office.

3:13 p.m. — I was running towards the parking lot.

3:14 p.m. — I just passed the swimming pool

The clock struck 3:15 p.m. I witnessed my bus turn on its engine and drive away.

With the now last bit of energy left, I ran to my dean’s office to see if her office was open. It was not and all of the other offices were empty as well. I now had no way of getting home because…

I did not have a phone and I still do not have one.

When I entered Harvard-Westlake as a seventh grader, I was positive that I would need a phone to communicate with my classmates and others. I begged my parents for one, but they were firm with their belief that I did not need a phone at that age. They gave me a whole lecture on why I should not have one so many times that I could recite it verbatim. As a seventh grader, I reluctantly obeyed.

However, as I entered middle school, I often felt excluded from all of my peers because of my case of “phonelessness”. I was not able to go on any social media, take pictures with my friends that I could look back onto in the future or even call my parents in times of need like my traumatizing experience of missing the bus.

I was always a shy girl, but I feel like I became even more quiet and timid because I was unable to belong to any of the conversations going on around me.

By high school, I was determined to ask my parents again. It was to the point where I asked for a flip phone. Fun fact: I did carry around a walkie talkie around until multiple occurrences of unidentifiable buzzing during classes put me in a sticky situation. But my parents still refused. At that point, I believe that my parents became so caught up and firm with their decision that their reasoning behind it didn’t even make sense anymore. It was then that I gave up.

Instead of sinking into my complex of being phoneless, I accepted the fact that I should conquer and develop different ways to connect with everyone else in the world.

Now I am not embarrassed when I ask a friend if I could borrow their phone. I am not even afraid to ask a stranger for one when it is absolutely necessary to.

Now I am not even embarrassed to answer the question of a classmate who asks, “Wait you don’t have a phone?” with the most flabbergasted expression on their face, which brought my confidence level down to zero just a few years before.

I have found a way to make my once so uncomfortable, phoneless life to one of comfort, confidence and optimism.

And really, a phoneless life is not as bad as you would think and you can take my word for it.