Categorized | Perspectives

Could you last without your phone to help someone less fortunate?

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Without looking, do you know where your phone is? For most people, their cell phones are within arm’s reach. It’s probably in a pocket on their person. Heck, you’re probably browsing apps while reading the paper; mindless multitasking. But what are you doing?

As a society, we are glued to our phones. We look to our smart phones for entertainment, news, social media, communication, etc. We even look at our phones just out of boredom hoping it will somehow hold the answer to the problem.

As a new smart phone user myself, I can tell you I am always looking at my phone. Playing games, scrolling through Instagram and Vine. Sometimes I check the time on my phone and have to look again because I wasn’t paying attention the first time. I’m not the only one, am I? Or is it a disease you contract when you get your hands on your first smart phone?

When I am out to dinner with friends, half of them have their nose so far into their phone screens, I’m concerned it will poke through the other side! We are so absorbed in our social media instruments that we forget to be social.

I didn’t have a smart phone until beginning of my junior year when my Env 3 literally died; it wouldn’t even turn on when it was plugged in its charger.  I did feel behind when everyone would get news before me or were more connected than myself. My mom also disabled Internet capabilities so I couldn’t even check Facebook.

Naturally, my first instinct was to play with my phone for hours until it died. And, embarrassingly enough, I did. However, when the shock of finally joining the 21st century passed over me, I realized I was starting to do what everyone else. I was almost instantaneously becoming glued to my phone.

In 2013, Apple sold 33.8 million iPhones in their Q4 alone. That means in one quarter of a fiscal year for Apple, three months, millions of iPhones were sold after the iPhone 5S and 5C hit the markets.

One in five people around the world have a smart phone. That is more than 1.5 billion.

A screenshot of the UNICEF Tap Project's website. Visit tap.unicefusa.org on your smartphone to participate.

A screenshot of the UNICEF Tap Project’s website. Visit tap.unicefusa.org on your smartphone to participate.

UNICEF decided they needed to find a better way to reach out to more people in efforts to help. Thus the UNICEF Tap Project was born.

The Tap Project challenges smart phone users to open up the challenge on their phone and leave their phone still for however long they can. That means no texting, no videos, no leaving the screen. For every ten minutes you go without touching your phone, a sponsor of UNICEF makes a donation equivalent to one full day of water for a child in need.

They aren’t asking you to give up using your smart phones, but to challenge yourself in a fun way that benefits others. Even if you just donate an hour of your time to the challenge, that’s six days of water donated to people in need.

The current record for the state of Pa. 152:44:22 and the all-time record is 178:25:38.

Can you part from your phone long enough to make a difference in at least one person’s life? Take the challenge and find out for yourself. What could it hurt?

Take the challenge on your phone at: uniceftapproject.org

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