Going offline for a week

Year 10 student, Yahya U, reflects on what it felt like to go offline without his mobile phone for an entire week, while sailing on Ocean Spirit on the West Coast of Scotland, with 15 other Year 10 students.

It has become common knowledge that there are three things that mankind cannot live without; food, water and smartphones. It’s unusual nowadays to be in a situation where my smartphone doesn’t come in handy, as it helps me in every manner possible, be it setting an alarm before sleeping or playing my ‘Positive Vibes’ music playlist whilst having a shower.

Unsurprisingly, when I heard that I would go five days without my mobile phone on STV, it did confuse as to why I wouldn’t need it due to its ability to be useful in any occasion. Lost? We’d use the compass on our phone. Unsure about conditions? We could use the trusty Weather App and see what the forecast was for the day.

However when I first climbed upon Ocean Spirit, it started to make sense as to why we wouldn’t need it. The boat had a massive GPS for starters. We had begun to understand that not everything required smartphones, believe it or not. This computer system told us everything we really needed to know, from cloud cover to wind.

When it wasn’t our turn to be on watch, the time spent was even more connecting. Instead of being on our phones, we chatted with each other, had a cup of tea and then it was our turn to sail again. Other times, we just napped. We did miss them from time to time. We also thought about anything big that might have happened while we were disconnected, if another war had started or if everyone finally agreed on a Brexit deal. It was a mindful journey and we understood that in this day and age, our worlds revolve around the internet and smartphones. However, we also realised that we didn’t need it. Needless to say, as soon as we arrived back at school, everyone ran straight to their phones and went online.