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37 Things to Do to Finally Put Your Cell Phone Down

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

Here is how it would be in an 80s time capsule:

1. You watched the Superbowl on TV, instead of following everyone's tweets about it.

2. A single glowing screen was enough to hold your attention for 10 minutes.

3. If you wanted an opinion, you generally had to ask for it.

4. You had hobbies. Now you have apps.

5. You knew people's phone numbers.

6. You knew your own phone number.

7. It was easy to remain blissfully unaware of your ex's current love life.

8. If you wondered how old the New Edition members were, you would just have to keep on wondering.

9. There was no such thing as "phantom vibration."

10. You went out to local restaurants to figure out which ones had the best wings or burgers or mac and cheese instead of giving up on them before you'd even tried them, thanks to a bunch of content food reviewers.

11. You let the answering machine pick up so you could watch your favorite show, on the actual television, at the time it was broadcast.

12. You actually used the phone book instead of recycling it the minute it landed on your front steps.

13. You used a map that didn't have a glowing dot to show you where you were. 

14. The product graveyard in your bathroom was 3 times the size, because there were no online reviews to check before a Sephora binge.

15. You couldn't Photoshop your most goofy and unflattering photos—you had to admit that that's what you looked like, at least at that unfortunate moment.

16. You could talk about trivia with your friends for hours—because you couldn't be sure who was right.

17. You were blissfully unaware that your high school crush had acquired both a wife and a paunch (thanks, Facebook).

18. You didn't check your phone 20 times during dinner.

19. You knew the tellers at the local branch of my bank, and actually got to the bank by 3:00.

20. You carried a little address book.

21. You checked the paper or called the theater for movie times.

22. You jotted things down on scraps of paper (or napkins, or pieces torn from diner placemats, or…)

23. You listened to the radio to get the weather—and made everyone shut up while you turned up the volume.

24. You took pictures with a camera (and if you weren't carrying one, you missed the shot).

25. You had road maps in your glove compartment.

26. You set an alarm clock to wake yourself up.

27. You carried change in case you needed to use a pay phone.

28. You charged through the house to pick up the phone before it stopped ringing (or before the call went to your answering machine).

29. You got there when you got there.

30. You could make much better excuses for being late.

31. You read a newspaper!

32. Dates were made via phone; and they had to actually walk to the front door to pick you up (no texting that they're "outside")

33. You never knew what your friends were doing unless you…gasp…asked them.

34. You made actual phone calls and had real conversations that were actually intimate and personal instead of texting.

35. You wrote thank-you notes instead of emailing. 

36. You had to have your wallet to buy your latte at Starbucks.

37. When you lost touch with someone, you thought you might really never see them again. Now you can stay friends forever.

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