Phoneless in Sewanee, Tennessee

This weekend I went to Sewanee to visit my friend, Mason, who has been begging me to come for years.  The eight hour drive has kept me from making the trip, but I finally made it down there a month before he graduates and moves to Alaska to be a fishing guide.

This weekend was Sewanee’s biggest of the year.  I didn’t know exactly what to expect visiting a small school in the middle-of-nowhere, Tennessee coming from a big school in North Carolina.  It was almost like a music festival; band’s played all day, all over campus.  Everywhere we went someone has having a party.  And I kept bumping into people that I didn’t even know went to school there.

The first day I was there I kept taking snapchats of what was going on around me. At one point I realized that I was spending way to much time on my phone, a problem I don’t usually have.  I felt compelled (for some reason) to let all my friends back home know what I was doing down at Sewanee.  Maybe it was to throw it in their face after all of them decided to stay in Chapel Hill this weekend.

I was a little overwhelmed with how many people I didn’t know, and reverted to communicating with my friends at home rather than meeting people and enjoying the weekend away from home.  I kept taking refuge in my phone–tweeting about something, sending a snapchat, even a mass text to a group of friends.  Then I lost my phone.

I didn’t even realize I had lost it until hours after the fact, but once it was gone I felt relieved.  The only negative that came as a result was getting separated from my friends for a while and lost on a campus I had never been to before.  But even that was fun, and I eventually ended up in the right place.

I’ve always been critical of people who let their phones distract them from where they are and what they’re doing.  At the start of the weekend I was one of those people.  I was avoiding awkward first-time introductions and escaping into social media on my phone.  I didn’t really have fun until my phone was gone, but once it was I had a great time, met a ton of people, and had no concern for what was going on anywhere but what I was doing in Sewanee, Tennessee.

-FS

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