It might startle you to know that, actually, you don’t need your phone.
At least not for so many of the activities that you think it should attend.
I would have argued otherwise about the time I sent my cell straight into the ocean — just a nice clean dive. Would have made a cool Boomerang. And I would have fought you if you said I didn’t need it the day it went swimming in my toilet, because I definitely did. How else was I supposed to check away-from-my-desk emails? I would have sneakered up for a full-on filibuster if you told me — as my phone was driving away in the back of a cab while I stood, deserted, helpless and friendless on the West Side Highway — that I’d be fine without it. I was not!
But wasn’t I? After all, I lived.
Turns out you don’t need your phone…basically ever…but especially not in the following scenarios, as tested, tried and true, by a frequently phone-less mess of a me.
On the stairs
Not worth the fall or the broken screen.
When you’re with family
Family members need constant affirmation that you’re not in the midst of being kidnapped. When you’re with them, they have confirmation that you’re okay. Phone away.
To your best friend’s apartment
If you’re with her then there’s no one else as funny who could possibly be texting you, so what’s the point in checking?
In the shower
No Snapchat is worth the slip-and-fall.
In the tub
I repeat: no Snapchat is worth the slip-and-fall, but this one pertains to your electronic device. It’s slipperier than soap and way more expensive.
In the bathroom in general
A general rule of thumb: if you’re sitting on the toilet, the email can wait.
The movie theater
You just paid $100 to eat snacks and watch a movie, so get your $100-worth and eat snacks and watch that movie. What if someone texts you something annoying halfway through and ruins the plot?
When you’re driving
Yes to GPS if you set it up on the dash but no to texting — a very-serious-after-school-special-roll-your-eyes-at-me-I-don’t-care-PSA!
At the office
Imagine all of the work you’d get done if you add up the seconds you glanced at your phone or the minutes you interacted with it, then subtracted that from your work day. You could probably wrap a whole hour earlier.
Plus you’d have lots of notifications and feel very popular even if it’s just texts from your mom who thinks you’ve been kidnapped.
To get coffee
Keep your final minutes of solace as peaceful as possible. Plus it eliminates change-fumbling at the register.
It will ruin your zen before it even begins and crash it like a hooligan smashing a pumpkin on Halloween the moment you check it post-ohm.
To eat food
Unless your phone is also a fork?
To ride a jet ski
Make your friend on land Snap it if need be.
To go tubing
A sandwich bag will not protect it. You need your wits about you and your hands on the alcohol. Believe me.
To go swimming…or for any water activities, really
Stop wasting rice.
On your couch
No one can get mad if you don’t answer a text when your excuse is “I fell asleep on the couch.” Plus, when’s the last time you watched a television show from start to finish without being half distracted?
On a horse
A phone will not help you go faster or stay on!
On your bed
Close your eyes, baby marsupial. All of it can wait until the morning. And after your coffee.
Illustrations by Lily Ross.