The student news site of Dowling Catholic High School

The Dowling Catholic Post

Breaking News
  • April 19Student Service/Senior Celebration Assembly: 4/30
  • April 19Scholastic Achievement Assembly: 4/24
  • March 20Spring Sports are in full swing! Support the Maroons!
  • March 4"Newsies" will come to the stage April 25-27!
The student news site of Dowling Catholic High School

The Dowling Catholic Post

The student news site of Dowling Catholic High School

The Dowling Catholic Post

A Happy Accident

How one person accidentally forgetting their phone led to a table group taking action.
E. Johnson
A day at school without our phones was not easy, but it was very rewarding.

While the table group conversations in Newspaper range over a multitude of topics, it was a chat about phones that sparked us to reconsider our attachment to the devices. We decided to give up our phones for one day at school and write about our experiences. Below, we reflected on our day without phones:

Ella – Ever since getting a phone in middle school, I’ve tried to be cautious of how much time I spend on it. Admittedly, my Screen Time drastically grew during COVID isolation…and it hasn’t ever really gone down. I’ve set up some Screen Time limits on social media to help manage the hours on my phone, but I often default to “15 more minutes,” which tend to add up. So, along with others in the Newspaper staff, I was excited to challenge myself to give up my phone for a day at school. 

Usually, on the car ride to school, my eyes are fixed to my phone (in the passenger seat, don’t worry). However, during the morning of our no-phone-day, I decided to get an early start to the challenge and restrained my phone to my pocket. Instead, I listened more carefully to the music playing and watched the sunrise before being dropped off for an early morning tennis workout. Even though I didn’t have the opportunity to check any texts, the phoneless car ride was a calmer start to my morning. 

After the morning workout, I actually forgot about our phone-free challenge and responded to a couple of my friends on Snapchat. Fortunately, I almost instantly recognized my mistake and retired my phone back into my pocket. Walking the halls without the security of my phone was a little hard at first, but I soon saw a group of my friends and joined in their conversation. This made me think about how often I unintentionally miss an opportunity to catch up with a friend because I was distracted by the latest post on Instagram. In classes, I had a similar experience, once again relying on conversation skills before and after the bell rang. 

At lunch, I didn’t have a difficult time with my phone being confined to my locker. Rather, I enjoyed those thirty minutes with friends around the lunch tables even more than usual. It helped that they were all aware of my phoneless status, and therefore eager to help me succeed on the challenge. 

By the end of the school day, I was surprised at how simple it was to be without a phone. I liked my time without it so much that I waited a couple more hours after school before going on it again. When I did, I only ended up spending a half hour on it in total. I’m hoping that this experience will help motivate me to continue to bring my Screen Time down and overall be less dependent on my phone. 

Alaina – Giving up my phone for a school day wasn’t as difficult as I had anticipated. During class, it wasn’t much different because everyone else had to put their phones in the caddy. However, throughout the day I felt like I was missing something. At lunch, not having my phone made me realize how much I depend on it. It forced me to start conversations with people and be present. I looked around at my table and saw how distracted we all are when we are on our phones. From now on, I’m going to try to put my phone down at the lunch table so that I can be truly present with my friends. 

Mackenzie: – It was kind of weird not having my phone. When my teachers asked me to put my phone in the phone caddy, and I replied with I dont have it, I don’t think they believed me. I felt like I was forgetting something all day. It helped me to talk to my pears more. I felt way more present at lunch with my friends, and I was way more productive. When I had extra time instead of scrolling through Instagram or texting my friends, I actually was productive. I would finish my homework and get ahead of other papers and study for tests for the future. 

I would say that being without my phone made me more present and productive in my day at school, but sometimes it is nice to mindlessly scroll on Instagram and give yourself a brain break. It can be hard to not communicate with others using our phones because oftentimes that’s the easiest, most culturally acceptable way to communicate. I think that without my phone I was open to talk to more people and people I wouldn’t have always talked to in my classes. I would go another day without my phone, but I wouldn’t do it everyday. I also didn’t really realize we had clocks in the hallway. I never really noticed we had them until that day.  

Ruby – During the winter, my friend and her parents would always give me a ride to morning speed and agility. One day, after I got into the gym lobby, I realized that my phone had fallen out of my pocket, and I had left it in my friend’s dad’s car. By the time that I told my friend and she tried to call her father, it was too late for him to come back, so she left him a text and promised me that I would have my phone by the end of school. That day was full of eye opening experiences for me, because without my phone I felt bare and exposed but not necessarily in a bad way. 

It is so easy to get lost in your phone and miss the things that are right in front of you. When I was in a situation that was uncomfortable, I didn’t have my phone to hide me. I didn’t have anything to distract myself with before class started, so I tried talking to some people that I might not normally talk to because I might as well make the most of my circumstance. Throughout the day, there were some slightly awkward moments where everyone else was distracted by their phones, and I was just sitting there in silence, but those small unpleasant moments were made up for by all the positive interactions and encounters I had that day. It is so easy to get wrapped up in your phone, but intentionally putting it away and talking to people is much less stressful and it yields more genuine interactions. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Ella Johnson
Ella Johnson, Staff Writer
Ella Johnson is a junior at Dowling Catholic High School. Within the performing arts program, she is involved in the fall play as well as Speech and Debate. She is also a part of Student Ambassadors, Student Philanthropy Council, and Ut Fidem. During the spring, she plays tennis at school and continues training year-round. Outside of school she takes piano lessons, an instrument she has played for nearly ten years. In her free time she enjoys continuously selecting the “next episode” button on any streaming service or delving into a good book. 
Alaina Cleghorn
Alaina Cleghorn, Staff Writer
Alaina Cleghorn is a junior at Dowling Catholic. She plays on the JV volleyball team and is involved in Ut Fidem and Students for Life. In her free time, she likes to paint, travel, and spend time with friends and family. She loves animals, especially her 8-year-old Cavapoo named Maisy.
Mackenzie Branstad
Mackenzie Branstad, Staff Writer
Mackenzie Branstad is a junior at Dowling Catholic High School. She is involved in Best Buddies, Student Ambassadors, Super Cool Service Club, and Ut Fidem. She also runs cross country and plays tennis. Outside of school Mackenzie loves to hang out with her friends, shop, travel, and go on walks outside. Mackenzie's favorite color is blue and she has three younger sisters. Mackenzie is a newcomer to the Dowling Catholic Post and is so excited to be a part of the staff.
Ruby Leman
Ruby Leman, Staff Writer
Ruby Leman is currently a sophomore at Dowling Catholic. Ruby is involved in Show Choir, Ut Fidem, and varsity track. In her free time, Ruby enjoys reading, spending time with her little siblings, and listening to music. Her favorite musician is Taylor Swift and her favorite movie is Clueless. This is Ruby’s first year in the Dowling Catholic Post, and she is very excited to be part of it!

Comments (0)

We appreciate your comments! Please keep comments brief and verify your email when prompted. Thank you!
All The Dowling Catholic Post Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *