Maybe we were wrong, this is turning out to be harder than I expected, Amara thought to herself. It was 7:30 in the morning and Amara was already having the worst day of her life. She was running late for work; again, her coffee spilled while she was rushing to get out of the house and to make matters worse she was stuck in traffic. It’s been a struggle for Amara and her husband Justin for the past two weeks as they’ve been living without their phones. It all started when their daughter Jasmine convinced them to give up their phones for a month as a test to prove her point. Jasmine strongly disagrees with the common misconception that her generation is too dependent and attached to their phones and other electronic devices. She believes that adults are just as attached to their phones and that adults have become just as dependent on phones as teenagers. This topic is a recurring discussion in the Richardson household and it’s usually not a friendly one given that Jasmine is really passionate about this issue. First, Jasmine would get her phone taken away and from there the conversation got very heated.
“Why do you always do that, it's so unnecessary!” Jasmine yelled.
“Because you shouldn’t be on your phone while doing homework,” Justin responded.
“But I wasn’t even on it this time!” Jasmine argued.
“Well it’s a distraction and you don’t need it anyway. Focus on your work before you don’t get it back at all,” Amara commented.
“You teenagers are too attached to these things. Back when I was a kid instead of being on snapchat and youtube I would go and play outside,” Justin added.
Here we go again. I swear we’ve had this conversation a hundred times already, Amara thought to herself, getting annoyed. She looked at her younger brother Alex and she could tell by his face that he was thinking the same thing.
“Seriously. Adults use their phones just as much as we do. It may not be for social media and games, but you guys are really reliant on phones for work,” Jasmine said completely disagreeing with her parents point of view. Yet Amara and Justin stuck by their argument. Therefore when she posed the challenge of giving up their phones for a month, her parents easily accepted not thinking much of it. However they soon realized their mistake after dealing with many problems in the first week.
In that first week, Amara and Justin missed several notifications about meeting changes and new assignments, they overslept because they didn’t have an alarm and weren't able to send money to people through Chase quickpay. I never realized how much I relied on sending money through my phone. I rarely ever go to the bank anymore, Justin noticed. They also couldn’t check in with their kids throughout the day which posed a major problem when a fire broke out at their school.
“Jasmine. Alex. Are you guys okay?” Amara asked, her face filled with worry. Jasmine felt somewhat sorry for her parents as she could tell how worried they were, but this just further proved her point. They don’t understand how dependent they’ve become on their phones. If they had their cellphones they would have easily been able to call and check in on us, Jasmine thought to herself happy that her plan was working.
“We’re fine dad. It was nothing major, just a small fire,” Alex responded.
“Yea, we’re alright, don’t worry too much” Jasmine chimed in.
“Sorry no can do young lady, it’s our job to worry” Amara said. Jasmine turned towards her brother and he just shrugged his shoulders.
Another week passed by and Jasmine’s parents were considering backing out of the challenge. After encountering multiple problems over the three weeks, Amara and Justin began to realize how much they did use their phone on a daily basis and they were beginning to see where Jasmine was coming from. However because Amara was as stubborn as a rock she was intent on getting through the month without her phone. Justin on the other hand was fed up with all the stress not having his phone was causing him and demanded his phone back.
“I give up Jasmine. You win. You were right adults have become just as attached to their phones as teenagers. I wouldn’t have realized it if it wasn’t for your determination to prove your point, and that’s what I love most about you. But, now I need my phone back” Justin said anxiously. Jasmine erupted in laughter and handed the phone back to her father. Amara looked at her husband and shook her head.
“Do you want yours back mom?” Jasmine asked holding back a smile.
“No. I’m going to finish what I started” Amara replied.
“Ok suit yourself” Jasmine said, but you won’t last much longer, and she was right. Though she didn’t want to admit it, Amara was close to accepting defeat and all it would take was for one more bad incident to happen. Before she knew it the fourth week had arrived and Jasmine was impressed with her mother’s determination because she honestly didn’t expect her to last this long. Everything was going well and Amara had faith that she would make it through the month, until the universe threw one last curveball at her. Amara almost lost her job because she didn’t have her phone. It was Wednesday and Amara tried to sneak in unnoticed after she arrived to work a few minutes late. However, the exact opposite happened, and it turns out her boss was actually waiting to speak to her. Amara felt something was wrong and began to feel extremely uneasy.
Amara’s boss began speaking, “Amara, I don’t know what’s been going on with you these past several weeks; not showing up to meetings, forgetting about assignments and showing up late to work multiple times. Now I’ve tried to be easy on you and let it slide given your good record but unfortunately this time I have to address the issue”.
“I’m so sorry Mrs. Ross. These past weeks have been very stressful, but I promise I will get it together” Amara said.
“Mrs. Richardson, yesterday I sent out a message about very important opportunity for the company to get funding from several big investors and I entrusted you to see that it was carried out. However, the job didn’t get done and the investors found somewhere else to put their money towards. I’m afraid there are consequences for you to face since it was your job to see this opportunity was made a reality for us” Mrs. Ross continued.
“Mrs. Ross please don’t fire me” Amara pleaded and she began to tell Mrs. Ross everything, explaining why she didn’t receive the message. Mrs. Ross was surprisingly understanding and after a long discussion she decided to give Amara another chance. After many “thank you’s” and “bless your heart’s” Amara knew she had to accept defeat and needed to get her phone back. Once she got home, Amara called the family into the kitchen and began talking, explaining how she almost got fired.
“All because I didn’t have my phone” Amara sighed, “Jasmine I apologize for always judging your generation for being too attached to cell phones. After a very stressful 4 weeks, I realize how much I rely on my phone and without it I’m a wreck. Now I understand that adults are more similar to teenagers than I thought. Thank you for helping me see and understand your point of view. Now, where’s my phone?” Amara asked. Jasmine smiled and handed her mom back her phone. That was easy, she thought to herself as she walked away content with the success of her plan.